The police believe that three-year-old girl Jhanvi Ahuja, who found at a weekly market in Lajwanti Garden near Janakpuri in west Delhi on Sunday, was kidnapped by a childless couple.
Investigators said they had not ruled out the involvement of an organised child trafficking gang. But the needle of suspicion points at an unidentified childless couple and their entire focus is on to identify them and trace them as soon as possible.
A senior police officer said the girl was spotted by a student named Dheerendra. Jhanvi’s head had been shaved and a placard around her neck mentioned her name and her uncle’s contact number.
“There have been several facts that hint she was staying with a childless couple. First, the child did not look stressed and her clothes were clean when she was recovered. This means that the person(s) with whom she was staying were taking proper care. From our own experience, we can say the girl would not have been treated so well had she been kidnapped by any child trafficking gang,” said the senior police officer.
The officer said, “The girl’s head was shaved at least three days before she was abandoned in the market. When we asked her who shaved her head, she said her “mummy and papa” shaved her head. We believe the suspects had asked the girl to call them “mummy and papa”,” the officer added.
Her head was cleanly shaved without any cut or scratch marks and this led investigators to believe it was done by a barber, either at home or at a parlour.
Senior police officers said they were preparing a list of barber shops and beauty parlours operating in a radius of five kilometers from the place where Jhanvi was recovered.
“A door-to-door operation will be conducted. We will show people Jhanvi’s photographs and ask them if she was spotted in their locality in the past one week. We will look for unregistered shelter homes operating in west Delhi to see if she was kept there for any illegal purpose,” said the officer.
Investigators said they did not find any CCTV camera in the area from where Jhanvi was recovered. The absence of any CCTV footage would make it tough for the police to identity the suspects.