Mumbai: Woman steals baby from Kandivli shanty, love triangle suspected
Cop tells mid-day that mother suspects infant was kidnapped by husband's friend, Aarti, a woman in the mid-30s who would often visit the family's shanty in Kandivli and drink late into the night with her husband
While the parents were at the police station, the kids were waiting at the tent, where the family also sells helmets
A 35-year-old woman who lives with her family in a shanty opposite a Muslim cemetery on Marve Road only wanted to save her marriage when she drove away her husband's female friend from their home. Now, she suspects the same woman has stolen their three-month-old daughter in the dead of the night, from right under their noses in a fit of revenge.
Devli Singh (35) and her husband Manoj (40) have 10 daughters, but the family has been hit hard by the abduction of the youngest, three-month-old Shravani. The couple lives on the footpath opposite the Muslim cemetery on Marve Road, where they share a tent with the nine children left after the marriage of their eldest. It was from this makeshift shanty that little Shravani was kidnapped between 2 and 3 am yesterday, while the family was fast asleep.
An officer from Kandivli police told this reporter that the mother suspects that the baby was kidnapped by her husband's friend, Aarti, a woman in the mid-30s who would often visit the family's shanty and drink late into the night with her husband.
Between 2 and 3 am, the unidentified woman crosses the road and walks towards the family’s tent on Marve Road; Inside the tent, the family is fast asleep. The suspect grabs the baby from the line of sleeping children inside; She flees the scene with three-month-old Shravani. CCTV cameras fail to capture in which direction she goes; Around 4 am, the mother wakes up to see her baby is missing, and alerts the cops. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
"About a month ago, Devli spotted the woman spending another late night with her husband and flew into a jealous rage. She slapped the woman and drove her out of the tent. Now, she suspects that the woman may have taken her baby in revenge for the humiliation," said the officer.
Devli realised her baby was missing around 4 in the morning, when she had woken up to fill drinking water. One of the children, Koshal Singh (17), said, "I woke up to my mother's shrieks and realised that Shravani is missing. We gathered people from other hutments and the nearby furniture market, and searched for my sister, but could not find her anywhere."
When mid-day visited the spot, only the kids were present at the hut, where the family also sells helmets. The eldest daughter is 22 years old but she is currently in Delhi with her husband. "My parents have gone to Kandivli police station to register a complaint. They are still there, but the police have no clue about where Shravani may be," added Koshal.
Cops said they recovered footage from CCTV cameras in the vicinity that show a woman walking into the tent between 2 and 3 am, and then walking out with the baby shortly after. "However, she crossed the road and the CCTV camera could not capture which direction she was headed to," said an officer.
When Devli was shown the footage, she said the suspect looked very similar to her husband's friend, whom the police now consider the prime suspect. However, all attempts to find her have been unsuccessful so far. The police were unwilling to divulge any further details since it could tip-off the suspect about their investigation.
"We have registered a kidnapping case against an unidentified accused and are investigating. As the matter is sensitive, we cannot reveal any more information," said an officer.
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