The members of the gang then meticulously planned the abduction, rehearsing it well, and even grazing past the boy on the street as part of a mock drill.
In spite of all their efforts, and even after speeding off with the boy on the planned day, the abductors eventually had to abort the plan midway, thanks to some vigilant by-standers. The boy was ultimately packed into an auto and sent back home by the kidnappers, who also paid Rs 100 as fare to the rickshaw driver for their victim’s ride home.
The Vile Parle police arrested four men and one woman for kidnapping the 10-year-old boy yesterday. The boy came back home just two hours after being pulled into a car. The female accused Seema Dhadve (21), who worked as a maid at the boy’s residence on Hanuman Road in Vile Parle (East), provided all the information to kidnappers and hatched the plot. One of the accused is still at large.
Two cars and a bike were used to execute the crime, both of which have been seized by the police. The accused had even rehearsed the kidnapping a day before, even lightly touching the boy to indicate that the target had been achieved. On the day of the abduction, the boy was riding a bicycle outside the building around 2.30 in the afternoon, while the maid Seema ‘watched’ over him. Just outside the building, Seema signalled to the kidnappers, who were lying in wait in a car and a bike. Feeling that the coast was clear, they rushed towards the building and started forcing the boy into the car.
Three college students - Sanmesh Patel, Rishi Bhatt and Suraj Tiksamaund - saw the kidnappers in the act and rushed to the boy’s rescue. While two abductors abandoned their bikes and fled from the spot, the others sped off with the boy in the car. The three college students gave them a chase on their bike. Recalling the events, Patel said, “We even intercepted them near Regency Junction signal in Andheri but we missed them as the signal turned green.” Fortunately, a watchman of a building and one of the college students managed to note the car’s licence plate number and informed the police.
Additional Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangre Patil said, “The entire Mumbai police force was on its toes to nab the kidnappers. Nakabandis were arranged all the way from Dahisar to Thane.” Sensing that the cops were hot on their heels, the kidnappers decided to abort their mission. They put the boy in an auto, giving Rs 100 to the driver as fare. The boy came back home safely at 4.30 pm. The car was later intercepted at JVLR and all the accused barring one were nabbed. Another vehicle, which had been earmarked for later use, was traced by the police to Malad.
Besides Seema, the other accused have been identified as Milind aka Laxman Varadkar (35), Satyajit aka Robert Balkrishna (33), Rohit Divekar (27) and Bhagyesh Balan (29). Seema was working as maid at the businessman’s house for the last seven years. A shocked family member said, “We cannot imagine that Seema has done all this for money. We cannot trust any more.”
The police revealed that after kidnapping the boy, the accused had planned to demand Rs 1 crore as ransom, and negotiate down to Rs 70 lakh. They were even prepared to kill the boy, and later Seema, as they were afraid that she would reveal their identities to the police. A family friend said, “We thank the police and especially the three college students, because of whom the boy survived.” At the time of going to press, a case had been registered against the arrested accused, who will be produced in court today.