One of the abductors caught by the police in the kidnap of three-year-old Sufiyan Khan on Tuesday, revealed that he had been inspired by the abduction of six-year-old Karnit Shah who was rescued on Wednesday. He wanted to make a quick buck using a similar method. Salman Sheikh, 26, was arrested on Thursday while his accomplice Karim Siddiqui, 19, is absconding.
After Sufiyan was kidnapped, around noon the next day [Wednesday], Mumtaz Begum, his grandmother received a call on her mobile phone saying that the boy was in the caller’s custody. Around 7 pm, a text message, demanding Rs 7 lakh ransom was received. “The abductor demanded that the money be left at Varanasi railway station,” Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime said.
Meanwhile, the crime branch’s effort to establish the identity of the abductor from the mobile phone number drew a blank as the SIM card had been procured by fake documents. They, however, grew suspicious about Salman, who runs an STD booth at Sakinaka. Salman had shared a room with Sufiyan’s father Anwar in the past and had even accompanied him in search of the child.
It was Salman’s extra courteous manner that made police suspicious. He was questioned and soon spilled the beans. It became clear that Salman was the mastermind who had roped in Karim, who had worked with him earlier. Both are from Azamgarh in UP.
“Salman said he was inspired by media reports on Karnit’s abduction. He provided Karim with a SIM card and showed him where to pick up the boy from,” Roy said.
Armed with information, a police team was quickly dispatched to Silvassa, situated between Maharashtra and Gujarat, where Kalim had kept the boy in a house.
Though Karim escaped, the boy was rescued unharmed. The boy later told the police that he had not eaten anything since he was abducted on Tuesday evening. “He was traumatised by his experience,” Roy said adding that Karim had plans to do away with the child if Salman did not call him on Thursday morning.