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Kidnap & kill tag on childless woman

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By ANANYA SENGUPTA
  • Published 8.12.09
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New Delhi, Dec. 7: The young woman wanted to become a mother. Her desperation turned her into a kidnapper — and a killer.

Delhi resident Ritu Kapoor was arrested today for kidnapping six newborn babies and murdering at least one, in a chilling throwback to an earlier case of two sisters from Nashik who abducted and killed at least nine children.

While the Gavit sisters — sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in 2006 — trained the kids to be pickpockets, Kapoor, police said, kidnapped to fulfil her maternal instincts. But like the Gavit sisters, she disposed of the babies she didn’t like.

One of her victims, a two-month-old smothered to death, was found stuffed in a bag on a street not far from the college where Kapoor, 26, studied.

“She has revealed that she would dump all those children who were ill and then search for a healthy child,” said DCP (west) Sharad Agarwal.

Police sources said preliminary investigations suggested that Kapoor, who couldn’t conceive even after four years of marriage, kidnapped her first victim in early 2009, apparently after being labelled a banjh (barren woman) by her in-laws. Her husband, too, it appears, had left her sometime in early 2008.

Kapoor kidnapped the three-month-old from a tea stall. The police today rescued the child, whom she had named Puneet.

Investigators said she convinced her husband that she had conceived Puneet and used to take money from him to buy medicines during her “pregnancy”.

But police sources said her husband was also being investigated, though he has not been picked up yet. They said the “social stigma” of not having a child may have made him an accomplice.

In her statement to the police, Kapoor said that soon after she brought Puneet home, her husband insisted she conceive again. So she kidnapped another child.

She picked up a one-month-old but abandoned the kid as he wasn’t keeping well. She then kidnapped a 19-day-old but abandoned him, too, as he was “sickly” and she “couldn’t handle him”.

Sources in the police said they were planning to take the help of a psychiatrist to assess her mental condition.