Unidentified people who kidnapped the six-year-old son of a businessman from Sion-Koliwada on Saturday were tricked into securing the boy’s release.
A bag full of newspapers was left at the spot where the abductors had asked Prahlad Gupta’s father to leave a ransom of Rs 34 lakh, while a police team — acting quickly — picked up the child to safety from Mumbra station.
As the rescue operation unfolded, the policemen and the boy’s father were made to run from one station to another.
Omprakash Gupta, the businessmen, had left his son at his cousin’s house on Saturday, and he came to know that his son was kidnapped when he received a call at 11.40 am.
But the caller soon disconnected and switched off his cellphone.
Gupta said he enquired about his son at home and his relatives’ homes, but in vain.
He then lodged a complaint of kidnapping at the Antop Hill police station.
At 6.30 pm on Saturday, Gupta received another call from the kidnapper, who asked him to cough up Rs 34 lakh.
The kidnapper asked him to come with the cash to Kurla station. But Gupta could not spot him.
After this, Gupta was made to run to Vikhroli, then Bhandup and to Airoli bridge.
On Sunday evening, Gupta received another call and after much insistence he was allowed to talk to his son. The kidnapper
called him to Bandra, but he soon received another call directing him to Thane. At Thane, Gupta was asked, by phone, to climb up a hilltop near Mumbra Devi temple. “When I reached the spot, he told me to drop the bag. And also said that they would leave my son at Mumbra station,” said Gupta. The bag was stuffed with newspapers, a police officer said.
By the time Gupta reached Mumbra station, police personnel had already got custody of the child. But the abductors managed to escape.
“The abductors took care of my son, gave him meals at regular intervals and even bathed him,” said Gupta. “There were more than two people behind the kidnapping,” said Senior Inspector Vishnu Devkar. The police are on lookout for them.