| The two children, who were abducted by a friend of their father, after their release. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Police on Friday rescued a brother-sister duo, who were kidnapped by their father’s friend on August 19.
Five-year-old Shishir Kumar and six-year-old Mahima, the children of Abhay Kumar, who works as an assistant with a Patna-based property dealer, were lured from their Agamkuan residence by one Praveen Kumar.
Praveen works as a security guard at the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH).
Before getting a job with the PMCH, Praveen used to work with Abhay for the same property dealer. “Praveen and Abhay were good friends,” said Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj.
“Soon after the children went missing, their father started getting ransom calls demanding Rs 20 lakh. The family lodged an FIR at the Agamkuan police station on August 21. They hail from Jehanabad. The police had formed a special team under city superintendent of police Jayant Kant to crack the case,” the SSP said.
“We gathered information about the relatives and friends of Abhay and came to know about Praveen, who lived in the same area. We also came to know that Praveen was missing from the day the children went missing. We showed constraint because a wrong move could have proved fatal for the children. Based on mobile phone locations, we raided Vishnupur village in Madhepura, around 240km northeast of Patna, and rescued the children from a house. Praveen was also arrested from the same place,” the senior police officer added.
The children said they were promised a lot of sweets and chocolates by Praveen and were taken away by his warm gesture. “He frequented our house. He (Praveen) told us that he would be showing us new places and also give us sweets. We first took a train and then a bus. I heard him talking over the phone seeking Rs 20 lakh from someone,” Mahima told The Telegraph.
Praveen tried to justify his action by telling the police that he had a lot of debt to clear. He had also taken loans from a bank. “He (Abhay) was working with the property dealer and I thought he must be having a lot of money. To get rid of my debts I hatched the plan of seeking ransom by kidnapping his children,” Praveen said. The police said Praveen had planned to sell the children in some other state or kill them once he was paid the ransom.
On August 22, the police had recovered a 17-year-old boy who was abducted by his step uncle for ransom.
Suraj Kumar, 17, is a student of Akash Institute on Frazer Road under the jurisdiction of the Gandhi Maidan police station and lived alone at a private lodge in the Buddha Colony area. On August 8, Prakash Gupta, his mother’s stepbrother, picked him up from in front of the institute to take him to Bhagalpur. Gupta, however, took Suraj to the forest of Munger, where he was held by the rebels. His abductors demanded Rs 60 lakh from his family.