Police are on high alert after a 14-year-old boy, who escaped from the clutches of three men who had abducted him, told cops that there were six other children with his kidnappers.
Out of seven, three escaped at the same time as him, while the other three were still bound in the car they were kept in. According to the teenager, the kidnappers intended to telephone the parents of the victims asking for a ransom.
Airoli resident Sahil Gupta was abducted on Monday in broad daylight, and was found loitering near Khadavali station on the Central line later in the night, after he managed to give his captors the slip when they had stopped to eat at a Dhaba in Shahapur.
Gupta, a resident of Saptashri society, Sector 5, was found by social worker Vivek Bhoir.
“I saw this boy roaming the streets and questioned him. He narrated the entire incident to me. That’s when I approached the Rabale police station, and through the Rabale cops, we traced his parents, who had lodged a missing complaint with the police earlier,” said Bhoir.
According to Sahil, when he was on his way to meet a school friend on Monday afternoon at Airoli, Sector 5, three people in a Maruti Omni caught hold of him and pushed him into the vehicle.
“I shouted, but they covered my mouth and pressed it hard so that nobody would hear me. There were six more kids in the van, and all of them had their hands tied with a rope,” said Sahil.
“Around 6 pm, the kidnappers stopped at Shahapur on the Nashik Highway to have dinner at Kamal Dhaba. That’s when I saw an opportunity, and with the help of other victims, I managed to loosen the rope and ran. I saw three other kids getting down from the van, but I don’t know where they went. I went to Asangaon, and from there I reached Khadavali station,” said Sahil.
Police are trying to identify the kidnappers and have intensified their search for the three kids who escaped, and the remaining three who are in captivity.
“Sahil’s father Sandeep is into the packing business. We are also trying to locate the other kids mentioned by Sahil, but we are unaware of any missing complaint that has been lodged at police stations yet,” said a police officer from Rabale police station, on condition of anonymity.
“The only thing that Sahil has noted was that the Maruti van was painted white, and had a sticker on the rear glass with the name Chinmay,” said a police officer. The cops suspect that the boy may have cooked up the story.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Navi Mumbai, Purshottam Karad said, “We have heard of such a case, but are yet to make contact with them.”