A 27-year-old woman was arrested at Nahur railway station on Friday for allegedly kidnapping her neighbour’s five-year-old son in Vikhroli on Thursday and demanding Rs2 lakh as ransom.
The accused first tried to fool the kid’s parents saying she too was kidnapped along with the boy by a gang and changed her voice on the ransom call.
The police said the accused — identified as Pushpa Kataria — had planned it well in advance as she even arranged for a fake SIM card. An officer from Vikhroli police said, “The accused’s father is affiliated with a national political party and he had with him a local’s ID proofs as part of his application for a voter ID card. She took the documents and got a SIM card on it.”
At around 6pm on Thursday, the victim identified as Rishabh Prajapati, was playing in the verandah of his place, when Kataria told his parents she was taking him to a garden to play. After an hour, she called the Prajapatis pretending to be the kidnapper who took her and the kid.
The family then registered a complaint with the police. A team under the guidance of senior police inspector Shridhar Hanchate started looking for the accused using the call records. “We got the information of the SIM card handler and after it was traced to Vikhroli, we were sure that Kataria was the kidnapper,” added an officer.
The accused first asked the family to get the ransom amount to Dadar, then she changed the location to Kalyan and finally to Bhandup. “In the last call she asked us to come to Bhandup and when we came to know that she was in Nahur, a team was dispatched. She was nabbed and the boy was rescued,” said an officer.
Later, during the course of the investigation, the accused kept changing her statement. She first claimed she committed the crime to fund her bed-ridden grandmother’s medical treatment. “The second time, the accused she she wanted to run away with her boyfriend and she kidnapped the boy to collect money before eloping,” said an officer.
The accused has been booked under section 364 (A) (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code. She was produced in Vikhroli court on Friday and remanded to police custody till January 30.