Ahmedabad: 17-year-old kidnaps neighbour boy, held

The parents submitted a digital proof to the police where the alleged perpetrator had left a voice message on their neighbour's WhatsApp number demanding Rs 30 lakh in cash as ransom by 4 am the next day.

Around 9 pm on Tuesday, an anxious couple approached Kanbha police station in Ahmedabad rural claiming that their seven-year-old son Mahendra (name given by the police) has been abducted along with a 17-year-old-boy from their neighbourhood on Tuesday evening.

The parents submitted a digital proof to the police where the alleged perpetrator had left a voice message on their neighbour’s WhatsApp number demanding Rs 30 lakh in cash as ransom by 4 am the next day.

However, the next morning, police rescued Mahendra and nabbed the alleged kidnapper – the 17-year-old boy.

The father of Mahendra, a 40-year-old man, was distraught over the ransom amount as he was an autorickshaw driver living with his family (wife and three children) in an urban village under Daskroi taluka of Ahmedabad rural.

After the parents’ complaint, more than 150 police personnel of Ahmedabad rural police sprung into action and started surveillance of the phone number from which the extortion demand was sent. Around 6:30 am on Wednesday, Mahendra was finally rescued from a farmland near Geratpur railway crossing in Vivekananda Nagar of Ahmedabad rural. The police detained the 17-year-old neighbourhood boy for allegedly hatching the conspiracy and abudcting the boy for ransom.

According to KT Kamaria, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ahmedabad rural, several police teams were involved in the night-long operation to track the boy.

“The 17-year-old minor accused is a native of Uttarakhand and had come to Ahmedabad two months ago to work in a company in GIDC area. The minor accused started living on rent with another worker in a house near the victim child’s house and soon befriended him. On Tuesday evening, the accused took scooty from his landlord claiming that he needs to buy milk and took Mahendra with him, luring him with the promise of buying chocolates for him,” said Kamaria.

“The accused first dropped a voice message on WhatsApp to his roommate at 8 pm wherein he impersonated a voice and claimed that unknown persons have abducted both Mahindra and him and demanded Rs 30 lakh. He also dropped a voice message where Mahendra was heard claiming that both him and ‘uncle’ have been abducted. The accused then reached Naroda with his scooty and then dumped the vehicle over there. He then took a shared auto rickshaw ride with Mahendra and reached Geratpur Railway station where he tried to purchase train tickets to either Delhi or Uttarakhand,” the DSP said.

“However, no trains were available and he was told by the railway staff that he could catch a train from Kalupur Railway Station. The accused then took the child to a farmland near Geratpur Railway crossing and decided to spend the night over there and start their travel for Kalupur Railway Station in the morning. We finally managed to secure the victim child and detain the minor accused,” the officer said.

The scene at the house of the victim child was that of relief on Wednesday. Visitors and neighbours kept dropping in for details. After the child was rescued, his father told The Indian Express that the accused minor was unknown to him and his wife.

“When I was first shown the picture of the accused by the police, I couldn’t recognise him. My other kids and neighbours informed me that he had recently moved into the village. Mahendra told me that he often used to give him chocolates and he used to call him uncle. Using the same tactic, he abducted my son and told him that he knows that I have lots of money,” said the father.

“My son told me that the uncle made him walk all night on railway tracks and did not even offer food or water to him. He then asked him to sleep in a dense area in a farmland in severe cold early in the morning,” he added.

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