A homeless man had lured the boy out of the building where he was playing and intended to force him to beg on the streets; some passers-by in Girgaum heard the boy crying and stopped the man after noticing a difference in the way they looked
The Presence of mind shown by some passers-by and the police ensured that a kidnapped 6-year-old was reunited with his family within hours, instead of being forced into begging, as his kidnapper intended.
Rehmat Ali entered the Grant Road building where the boy was playing and lured him by offering him a flag. Illustrations/Amit Bandre
Officials from the VP Road police station in Grant Road said the boy was kidnapped by Rehmat Ali (40), who lives on the footpath near Darukhana on Reay Road. “The 6-year-old boy was playing on the premises of his building in 8th Cross lane on Tuesday evening and the accused, Ali, sneaked inside the gate.
The boy started crying in Girgaum and locals started quizzing Ali based on the difference between his and the boy’s looks
He saw that the boy was alone and lured him by promising to give him a national flag,” said Sub-Inspector Satish Gore from VP Road police station, who is the investigating officer in the case. The boy started crying in Girgaum around 8 pm and Ali was stopped by some local residents.
Patrolling constables noticed the crowd and when they realised that the boy had been kidnapped, they took him and Ali to the police station, where the boy’s parents were registering a missing complaint
“The locals heard the boy crying loudly and noticed that there was a big difference in the way he and Ali looked and were dressed. They started asking Ali questions and soon realised that the minor had been kidnapped by him,” added Gore.
Constables patrolling the area noticed the crowd and stopped to find what was happening. They took Ali and the boy to the police station.
The boy’s parents had, meanwhile, reached the police station to file a missing person’s complaint. In their statement, they had told the police that the 6-year-old had gone down to play around 5 pm and they started getting worried when he didn’t come until 6.30 pm. After efforts to find him proved futile, they went to the police station.
“While I was registering the missing case, the constables arrived with Ali and the boy around 8.30 pm. The victim was handed over to his parents after medical examination and possibility of sexual abuse has been ruled out,” added Gore. “This is clearly one of those cases where minors are forced to beg at signals after being made blind etc.
We are investigating the case from every angle and are trying to find out if the accused was part of a larger racket,” said Assistant Inspector Digambar Bhidve. The accused has been booked under section 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC. He was produced in Girgaum court yesterday and has been remanded in police custody.