For Ritu Kapoor, motherhood meant depriving other women of their children's love by making them her own. But not anymore.
The 26-year-old and her accomplice Mohammad Zia Ul (30) have been arrested. The duo has been charged of kidnapping six infants, one of whom is dead. The police have recovered four of the kidnapped children but the fate of one child is still not known.
Police said Kapoor had strained relations with her husband and her in-laws because she wasn't able to bear any children. Kapoor married Shammi Kapoor four years ago.
A college dropout and a former typist with a notary near Tis Hazari Courts, Kapoor used to befriend women who were daily wagers and living in slums.
Police said Kapoor used to sell them artificial jewellery and befriend them, following which she would kidnap their children by gaining the women's confidence.
But as soon as a kidnapped child would show signs of weakness, she would abandon the child and leave him to die, the police said.
One of the infants met with such a fate as Kapoor realised that he was weak and she didn’t want to bother with his medical treatment, police said.
The arrests came following investigations into a complaint lodged in October by one Raj Kumari, a daily wager from Rajouri Garden.
She told the police that her 19-day-old son was kidnapped from Rajouri Garden by a woman. She gave Kapoor's description to the police and they eventually arrested her. Following her lead, the police also arrested her accomplice.
“Kapoor resorted to kidnapping children and showing them as her own after she could no longer bear her in-laws' taunts,” said Sharad Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West).
Police said Kapoor was living with her younger sister and pretending to be pregnant. She used to take money from her husband saying it was for her treatment.
The DCP said Kapoor and Zia first kidnapped a three-month-old boy from east Delhi's Pandav Nagar on April 20, 2008. The child was lying in a cot near a tea stall run by his father.
The boy, who is over one year old now, was recovered from her.
After some time, the police said, her husband insisted on having a second child. Her second target was a one-month-old boy from Hari Nagar.
She kidnapped the child on September 2 this year but since the baby was not keeping well, she abandoned him. The police recovered the child after a few days of being abandoned.
Her third kidnapping was that of a two-month-old child from Bindapur in southwest Delhi on October 8. This child was also abandoned but he was found later.
On October 21, the accused duo kidnapped a 19-day-old boy, their fourth victim, from a construction site in Rajouri Garden. But Kapoor abandoned this infant the very next day in near a slum in Hari Nagar. His mother lodged a police complaint.
After abandoning the Rajouri Garden infant, Kapoor kidnapped a month-old child the very next day. This baby boy was found dead in Hari Nagar.
And on November 9, before she was finally arrested, she kidnapped a three-month-old child from a park in Vikas Puri. The police have not been able to find out anything about this child till now.