The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Toddler rescued, on way home

Bhubaneswar, June 24: The seven-day ordeal of Pranshu Siroya ended today with a joint team of Orissa-Gujarat police rescuing the child from a remote village in Khurda district.

The abductor, Rushi Swain, had apparently got wind of the police hot on his trail and left the 18-month-old child sitting at a betel shop in the village this morning before fleeing.

“We have rescued the boy and are taking him back today. He seems to be missing his parents,” said Bijayshree Jadeja, the CID inspector from Gujarat who led the search team.

Police are still looking for Rushi and have detained his brother Basant Swain and brother-in-law Bijay Srichandan.

Rushi (25), who worked as a watchman in the apartment complex where the Siroyas live, hails from Gopalpur village, 30km from here, in neighbouring Cuttack district. The police had initially raided his village for the child, but apparently Rushi had come straight to Panasbast on June 18 after arriving, where his sister-in-law Sukanti lived.

“He told everyone around that after getting married, he developed some differences with his wife. He even disguised the child as a girl,” said a villager.

The toddler had apparently been missing his mother very much and clung to Rushi most of the time. “The boy seems to have developed dehydration and vomiting. He underwent a health check-up at Khurda before the Gujarat team took him away,” said N.C. Sethi, the inspector of Khurda police station.

Pranshu, along with escorting cops, took a flight this afternoon to his hometown in Surat.

Gujarat police sources said Rushi had hatched the kidnap plot with four other persons. They had planned to make ransom calls to the boy’s father sometime latter. A person has been detained in this connection, they claimed.

Pranshu, the son of diamond trader Ajaya Siroya, was kidnapped from his residence on June 17. Soon after the kidnap, the city’s Patidar community had threatened to protest against the Narendra Modi government over it.

A seven-member police team from Gujarat, with the help of Orissa police, had conducted raids at nine different places before he was traced.

Khurda superintendent of police Amitabh Thakur said: “We extended them all support and fortunately no harm was done to the child.”

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