Aug. 9: Seven-year-old Setangi Kumar, who was abducted from her Rajvanshi Nagar house in Patna yesterday, was rescued in a joint operation by Bihar and Jharkhand police.
The girl was rescued today when a joint police team from Singhbhum and Patna raided a criminal’s house at Gitilpi village in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.
Setangi had been kidnapped while waiting for her father Santosh Kumar to take out his scooter to drop her to school. The schoolgirl was slapped and overpowered and her father knocked out with a blow from a revolver butt. The kidnappers pushed Setangi into a Maruti van and sped away.
Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi blamed Setangi’s relatives, including her stepmother, for the abduction.
Bihar inspector-general of police A.C. Verma said the kidnappers brought Setangi, also known as Sweta, to Singhbhum by road. “We came to know from her relatives about a possible hideout in Singhbhum and immediately contacted Jharkhand police. It is a success through sheer team effort,” he added.
West Singhbhum superintendent of police Praveen Kumar said: “We got to know about the whereabouts of the missing girl after arresting the owner of the Maruti van used for the kidnapping at Kira lodge in Chakradharpur block. The owner, Sudhir Kumar, revealed that the girl had been kept at one Pushpa Sarin’s house in Sonua block.”
Kumar said a team of officers raided Sarin’s house around 5.30 am today and rescued Setangi. Sarin and Minto Kumar, alias Mustaq, were arrested from the spot.
“Mushtaq helped us nab another gang member, Tinku Kumar, from Chakradharpur. We have launched a hunt for their associate Sudhir Yadav,” he added.
“Setangi was sent to Patna (to be handed over to her parents) around 11 am, along with Jharkhand police officers,” Kumar said.
Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi congratulated the police, saying: “We are happy to have recovered the girl so quickly.”
Speaking to The Telegraph over telephone, a relieved Santosh said he was surprised to receive a call from Kumar this morning telling him Setangi had been found.
“The superintendent informed me that my daughter had been traced and is in a good health. He also got her to speak to me and my second wife. Lalli, as we call her, was nervous and running high fever. We assured her that there is nothing to worry as she is under police protection and police would reach her home safely,” he said.
Santosh said he had a special attachment towards Setangi as her mother, Binita Sinha, had died of heart attack three years ago. Santosh denied that his second wife’s relatives were involved in the kidnapping.