NEW DELHI: A toddler kidnapped from south-east Delhi on Sunday was rescued from adjoining Faridabad after police arrested four persons, including two women, who hatched the conspiracy to earn quick money.
The kidnappers were allegedly planning to demand a ransom of Rs two crore from the businessman, Mr Vikram Singh residing in Maharani Bagh after a gap of 20-25 days when the momentum of investigations loses steam, police said today.
18-month-old Ishaan was kidnapped allegedly by the family servant Savita alias Seema who took employment at the house ten days before the kidnapping, on the pretext of taking him for a walk on Sunday.
The five persons hatched the conspiracy as they were fed up with their menial jobs and wanted to become rich quickly, police said.
"We have arrested four persons. The maid Savitri was was also arrested. One Pratima who was working at the house is absconding. We rescued the child late last night from Tilpat. We are happy to bring back smiles on the faces of Ishaan’s family," B K Gupta, Delhi Police Commissioner, told mediapersons.
Besides Savita, the other arrested have been identified as Annu Begum, Ashok Heru and Krishna Dev Kumar, the alleged mastermind.
Police got the breakthrough following investigations into an information provided by the family that their maid Pratima had gone on leave just four days before the kidnapping took place on some pretext.
"We found that Pratima was in relationship with Ashok and their marriage has been fixed. We zeroed in on Ashok who broke down during investigations," Mr Gupta said.
It was Ashok who led the investigators to Sarai Kale Khan where the boy was first kept. However, the alleged kidnappers had left this hide-out by April 25 evening.
Ashok then provided inputs about Krishnadev, who was arrested. "The latter provided information that they have kept the boy in Tilpat where a raid was conducted and Ishaan rescued. The two women were arrested from there," mr Gupta said.
Giving details about the sequence of events, he said, Savita had gone to Singh’s residence seeking job and Ishaan’s mother wife Ms Gayatri employed her. "That was the biggest folly of my life. After talking to her, I found she was nice and innocent," Ms Gayatri said.
However, Mr Gupta said, the family did not get the police verification of the new maid done. The boy was taken in a car by Annu, Kumar and Savita after she brought the boy to the nearby park.
"They had changed the appearance of the boy. They dressed him like a boy in frock and bangles. He looked exactly like a girl. They knew there was media publicity and they could get caught," Mr Gupta said. Police had also recovered biscuits, baby powder, baby oil and clothing from the hideout.
Mr Gupta said it was a "totally blind" case as the family did not get the police verification of the maid done.
"We did not have the photo. The mobile phones of the suspects were found switched off. The family told us that the maid looked innocent. Our lucky breakthrough was the arrest of Kumar," he said.
He said the arrested persons decided to kidnap the child as they wanted to become rich quick. They all were doing small jobs in Maharani Bagh area and knew each other.
"They wanted to become rich. That was their whole idea," Gupta said. Earlier, police had said it appeared that the maid had kidnapped the boy as she had grown fond of him.
Delhi Police had formed 15 teams, including one from Crime Branch, and had send them to various parts of the country in search of the boy. They had also declared a reward of Rs 50,000 for anyone providing information about the child and released the sketch of the suspect.
A case under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code was registered. If convicted, one can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
According to Delhi Police, at least 552 children have gone missing from the capital this year, with this month alone accounting for 177 such cases.
Ishaan’s mother Ms Gayatri thanked Delhi Police for its "quick" investigations which helped in rescuing her child. "Seema told me that she heard from the guards that we needed a domestic help. I liked her and employed her. She had one face for us but another for others," Ms Gayatri said.