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Teenager battles kidnap trauma

Safety issues apart, trauma stopped Shivam Khandelwal from going to school on Monday.

The 14-year-old boy is yet to come to terms with what happened to him in the past four days while he had been kidnapped on way to a tennis session to New Patna Club.

“We didn’t send him to school on Monday. It has been a shocking experience for him and he needs some time to relax. Also, there are security reasons too as the driver and his wife, who had planned the abduction, are still at large. I think it is better that Shivam stays at home for some more days until the police arrest them,” Shivam’s businessman father Mohan Khandelwal said.

Shivam is a Class IX student of St Joseph’s High School.

Psychologist Anil Kumar said it was important for any kidnap victim being properly counselled. “Any kidnap victim, who has come out safely, remains in shock for days. The situation gets grim if the victim is a teenager or a child. During the horrid episode, the victim is manhandled, threatened, roughed up and even beaten. He or she is kept in shady lonely places and many a times, the kidnappers talk about killing the victim after they have got the money. The experience has a shocking and traumatic effect in the victim’s mind,” he said.

“In such cases, the role of parents and family members becomes very important. They should be with the victim and constantly talk to him. The idea is to change the environment of the house by cracking jokes, going on outings among others,” he added.

On Saturday evening also, Mohan received a call from Girish Kumar, the mastermind, who was also driving the Khandelwal family car, which Shivam had taken to the club.

The man, who is absconding with his wife at present, had threatened Mohan to kill him if he did not facilitate the release of two of his friends who had been arrested during the early Saturday morning raid on the village house in Ara. “I have told the police about it. After that, we have not got any phone calls. The police have done a wonderful job in bringing back my son. But until Girish is arrested too, the insecurity factor is always there,” he added.

With senior police officers claiming teams were looking for the couple, Shivam’s recovery can be said to be nothing but miraculous considering that in most of the kidnapping cases which has hit Patna in the past two to three years, the police have only been able to find the bodies of the victims.

“At present, the teams are searching for the couple. We expect to arrest them soon,” S.M. Khopde, inspector-general of police (Patna zone), said.

“The plan of the men was to kill him after getting ransom. In 90 per cent of kidnapping cases, the victim’s chances of survival is bleak as the plan is to kill them so that the criminals cannot be identified. And in most cases, the kidnappers are people who are known to the victim,” another police officer said.


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