Ludhiana: pretending to be “good Samaritans”, the duo snatch the baby from a ragpicker
Impersonating Good Samaritans, a woman in a car and her male assistant kidnapped the four-month-old son of a ragpicker at the grain market near the Jalandhar Ring Road late Friday evening. The accused had approached the family of the ragpicker under the pretext of giving woolens and food for the children.
When informed, Salem Tabri police filed an FIR against unidentified people and opened an investigation. The car used by the kidnappers was captured by closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the area.
According to police, the kidnappers used a Maruti Suzuki Alto, bearing a yellow license plate. However, the registration number was not captured in the cameras. The kidnappers were seen driving towards Bahadurke road.
Rupa Devi, the mother of the newborn, said she was in her cabin with her eight children when a man, who appeared to be in his forties, showed up there. He had covered his face with a mask. The man told him that a “Madame” wanted to donate woolens and food for the children.
“My baby was cold so I asked my daughters to take care of him and I walked over to the car. The man insisted that I take the baby. I told him the boy was not well but he convinced me to take him outside, stating that Madame wanted to see the child, ”Rupa Devi said.
“As I approached the car, I saw the woman sitting in the back seat of the car. She asked me to bring the child closer because she wanted to see him. Meanwhile, his male assistant sat in the driver’s seat and turned on the engine. The woman handed me a bag of clothes. The moment I took the bag, the woman snatched my baby from my hands. Before I could do anything, the accused fled, ”she added.
She sounded the alarm after which onlookers gathered there and informed the police.
Deputy Police Commissioner (ACP, North) Dharmpal Juneja said separate teams had been formed for the arrest of the accused. He added that it appears to be a well-planned plot as the defendants parked their car in a dimly lit area to avoid being caught on CCTV.
A case under Articles 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 365 (kidnapping) and 34 (acts committed by several persons in pursuit of a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against unidentified persons. He said the role of a gang of human traffickers or a childless couple cannot be ruled out.
The infant’s sisters had seen the man twice during the day
The infant’s family are from Katihar in Bihar and have lived in the city for the past two decades. Kanhaiya, the newborn’s father, is a ragpicker. Kanhaiya said that at the time of the incident, he was sorting through the rag that he and his children had collected to sell.
According to the two sisters of the kidnapped child, they had seen the accused man walk around the grain market twice during the day. The man had come first in the morning and later in the afternoon.
The girls said that at night when he showed up to their barracks, they sensed something was wrong and asked their mother not to take the baby out. But he kept insisting that she take the child out and, seeing the two sisters objecting, he asked them to stay inside.