The Azad Maidan police have arrested two women, a mother and daughter, who purportedly kidnapped a five-year-old girl from around her home near GT Hospital, Fort, and forced to beg for money. According to the police, Seetadevi Sahane, 42, and her daughter Pinky live in the vicinity of the Vaishnavi Kate’s home and allegedly had been waiting for an opportunity to kidnap her.
Kate’s father is in hospital while her mother died a few years ago. When she went missing around 11am on Saturday, her brother Dinesh Kumar Kate, 7, told their school’s caretaker about it.
An officer from Azad Maidan police station said, “The girl couldn’t be found, so the caretaker and the brother reported the matter to Azad Maidan police station and we registered a case the same day. The brother said he suspected Seetadevi Shahane, so initially we called in her husband for questioning. From him we learnt that they also own a flat in Khopoli.”
A team of policemen was dispatched to Khopoli, where they located Sahane and arrested her after she apparently confessed. “We then asked her about Kate, she said she was begging at Mumbai Central station with Pinky. When we went there we noticed that the girl was being made to beg while Pinky monitored her movements,” said an officer, who did not wish to be named.
The officer added, “Shahane and her daughter planned it together. Beggars believe that beggar children earn more money, so they kidnapped the girl. We are looking into whether they have kidnapped any other children.”
The mother and daughter have been booked under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code. They have been remanded in police custody until January 4.