When Neesha Madan got to know that her seven-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, even in her wildest dreams she hadn't expected that her elder sister's son could be involved in the crime.
The police safely recovered the minor girl and arrested the accused relative — Vikas Sethi (23) and his friend Mohammad Sajid (22) — for allegedly kidnapping the girl and demanding a ransom of Rs 1 lakh.
Police said not just in Madan’s case, in all the 23 kidnapping cases reported across the city so far this year, relatives or friends of the victims were involved. In four cases, the victims were even killed for fear of identification, police said.
"It was least expected. When someone known to you is involved, it comes as a shock. We were lucky they did not harm her. Now I never leave her alone and always drop her and pick her up whenever she goes to school or her tuitions," said Neesha Madan.
Her daughter Akshita was kidnapped on August 19 when she was on way to attend tuition classes near her house in Neb Sarai in South Delhi.
According to police records, in all the 23 kidnapping cases this year the accused were mostly first timers and the lure of easy was the trigger. Cumulatively the abductors demanded a ransom amount of Rs 5 crore, police said.
"In all 33 persons have been arrested in kidnapping cases this year. Most of them in the age group of 20-25 years," said Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson, Delhi Police.
Police said they have to be extremely cautious while handling such cases.
"People should not have set time schedules for any activity. If such incident has happened they should cooperate with the police and not succumb to the demands of extortion or ransom. The family should not share the investigation detail with any relative or friend as they could be the ones involved in the crime," said Karnal Singh, joint commissioner of police (northern range).
Naresh Gupta whose three-year-old son Anant was allegedly kidnapped three years ago on way to school from Noida's posh Sector 15 A.
"When a kidnapper is known to the victim, it is hard for the accused to get away. Despite maintaining a low profile,
someone known to you does come to know about your
financial condition. We should educate our children to inform us even when they are speaking to someone known outside schools or in playgrounds," Gupta said.