A day after he was kidnapped from Kalyan, a four-year-old boy was reunited with his family.
A 34-year-old businessman residing in Kalyan, Mehtab Ahmed, learnt this the hard way after his four-year-old son was abducted by three men, after being lured with a chocolate bar.
Around 10.35 pm on Wednesday, Ahmed received a call, informing him that his son, Rehaan, had been kidnapped.
“At first, I thought it someone was playing a prank until I heard Rehaan’s cries. The caller told me to arrange for Rs 25 lakh within a week and threatened to kill the child if the police were informed,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed, however, immediately informed the local police station.
A day later, he received a call from the Manpada police station, informing Rehaan had been found. “An unconscious Rehaan had been abandoned in an autorickshaw, on the Kalyan-Shil road,” said Thane’s Additional Commissioner of Police (crime) Prashant Burde.
“Around midnight, as Rehaan started crying, they offered him a cold drink laced with sleeping tablets and abandoned the boy in an autorickshaw.”
The following day, they called up Ahmed again demanding Rs 25 lakh saying that he should now hand over the money as the child had been found safe.
“Based on information collected by the Kalyan crime unit and the technical probe by the Thane Anti-extortion cell, the police arrested the abductors on Saturday,” said Burde.
One of the accused, 27-year-old Abeed Sayyed lives in the same complex as the child.
The other two were identified as Sayyed’s cousin, Salman (18) while the third, Mohammed Sheikh (23), was a labourer who worked for Sayyed’s father and is a Dombivli resident.
Burde, however, refused to divulge details of how they tracked down the abductors.
“Abeed had taken several loans and he decided to kidnap Rehaan so that he could repay these. He took the other two into confidence and promised to pay them Rs 8 lakh each,” said Burde, adding that the trio had kept tabs on the child’s movements for over a week.
“On that fateful day, Salman approached the child who was playing near his house by luring him with a chocolate,” said Burde.
They gagged the child and drove towards Katai naka. “They were even armed with chilli powder to be flung at anyone who would have followed them,” Burde added.
The accused trio has been remanded in police custody till September 22.