A moment’s negligence could have cost a homeless woman her two-year-old daughter, had the police not intervened quickly. Four days ago, the little girl was abducted from the pavement where her family was sleeping, and was forced to beg on the streets.
But a worse future waited for her, as the kidnapper intended to push her into flesh trade once she was old enough. Fortunately, the police caught up with the accused in the wee hours of yesterday, just as he was about to leave the city with the toddler.
Cops have identified the accused as Santosh alias Ganesh Vishwakar (27), a drug addict. On Sunday, the girl and her family were sleeping on the footpath in the D B Marg area in Grant Road, and Vishwakar was lying in wait for an opportunity to steal her.
His chance came when the girl’s mother went to relieve herself and he lured the toddler with chocolates and persuaded her to follow him. “Everybody was sleeping when I went to the toilet. When I came back after a few minutes, my daughter was missing. I was terrified. We started searching for the girl but when we did not find her, we approached police,” said the girl’s mother.
The police formed five teams to track down the accused; they made several photocopies of girl’s picture provided by the parents. Meanwhile, the accused took the girl along with him to railway station where the two would beg for money.
As the girl was comfortable with him, he decided he would leave the city with her. By this time, the police found out that the girl had been spotted at Mumbai Central station and immediately dispatched a team to bring her back. They reached in the nick of time, just as the accused was about to leave the city with her.
“The accused was going to earn money by making the girl beg, and once she grew up, he was going to sell her as he could fetch a huge amount for a virgin,” said an officer from the D B Marg police station, adding that investigations were on to check if the accused had done this before as well. The girl is now safe and back with her family, and her mother said, “I will never ever leave my child alone from now on.”