He wanted to turn them into addicts, and then, lure them into the world of crime — but the aptitude of his little victims finally did him in. Nineteen-year-old Santosh Kumar, a ragpicker from south Delhi’s Saidulajab area who had abducted three children, with an intention of turning them into trained thieves, was arrested after a search operation spanning across two states, police said.
“Santosh, who is addicted to sniffing erasing fluid, first befriended the three children from Lado Sarai’s F block and got them hooked to abusing the intoxicating substance. He, then, lured them to Ambala with an intention to turn them into petty thieves,” said a senior police officer.
The incident, police said, came to light when the parents of the three minors, all of whom are students of Class 5 at a local government school, approached the Saket police station on January 22 — two days after the children went missing. A case of kidnapping was registered. While two of Santosh’s 11-year-old victims managed to find their way back home on January 24, the third, who is 14, was rescued from Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar a month later.
“All three children were produced before a Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on February 24 and their medical examination has revealed they are healthy,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, a police team caught Santosh while investigating a murder case reported from a forested area in south Delhi’s Mehrauli. He was arrested on March 3.
“He has confessed his involvement in the kidnapping of three children. He said he wanted to make them drug addicts and push them into thefts. We are trying to ascertain his involvement in similar incidents,” the officer added.
The incident follows the infamous case of a two-year-old-toddler who along with a 14-year-old girl had been trafficked after a gang of inter-state ‘match-makers’ forced the infant’s mother into forcible marriage. The teenager had been similarly trafficked and pushed into flesh trade.