The pall of gloom that descended on their two-storey residence on Sunday evening seemed to grow denser by the second on Tuesday afternoon, two days after their 18-month-old son Ishaan was abducted.
Proved terribly wrong in having trusted a newly-appointed nanny, hired solely on the basis of 'good faith', with their only child, the Singhs refused to even look upon the outside world even as a swarm of media persons awaited outside their house in Maharani Bagh's I block.
"Though we sympathize with the family, the fact that they were careless on two counts can't be ignored. Not only were they wrong in having hired a help without any references but also in not getting her verified by the police," said a senior Delhi Police officer.
According to the police, which verified more than 29,815 domestic helps in 2010, motivating the public at large to get their domestic helps verified and registered at local police station is a Herculean task.
"Though we keep asking residents to work in tandem with police and get their helps verified, not many take to our suggestions kindly. I believe only 20% helps hired in the I block have been referred by their employers to the local police for verification," said Ajay Bansal, a member of the I block RWA.
And the police are in perfect agreement. "Despite several attempts, in the form of workshops and door-to-door enquiry-cum-verification exercises, it is very difficult to convince people to get their helps, especially those hired recently, verified. We face most opposition from residents of southern range," he said.
Police said 19,917 of the 29,815 domestic helps verified in 2010 were in the southern range.
"Though it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of helps in the city, a majority are employed in the southern range. In light of this incident, we would like to renew our appeal to the public to get their domestic helps verified," said Amulya Patnaik, joint commissioner of police (southern range).
Meanwhile, as several of their specially constituted teams conduct a manhunt spanning several states to recover the baby, police have reason to believe his intimacy with his alleged kidnapper, the newly-appointed nanny Seema, to be the main motive behind the crime.
"The fact that the family is yet to receive any demand for ransom has led us to believe that Seema's emotional attachment with the child might be the predominant motive. However, the monetary consideration aspect of the incident can't be ignored either," Joint CP Patnaik added.