The man who allegedly kidnapped five-year-old Manthan Jadhav from Dongri was planning to hand the boy over to his childless sister as he could not bear her plight, police said on Sunday.
Rakesh Singh, 28, who allegedly kidnapped Manthan, was arrested from Bihar by a team from the Dongri police on Friday. Manthan was reunited with his family on Sunday.
Police said the accused's sister, Bimal Singh, 38, had been married for 20 years but was unable to conceive. She had also tried to adopt a child. "Singh said he could not bear his sister's plight. We are probing if she too was involved in the kidnapping," said Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police, south region, adding that the child was scared but unhurt.
Santosh, Manthan's father and a vegetable vendor, said Singh, who worked in a scrap shop, would often tell him that he would take his son away. "But I never took him seriously. He had been visiting my son regularly for eight days before the kidnapping," Santosh said.
The Dongri police brought Singh to Mumbai on a three-day transit warrant for interrogation. He was produced before a holiday court on Sunday.
After kidnapping Manthan, Singh first took him to Five Gardens, Matunga, and then Wadala. Then they took a train to the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and boarded Pawan Express to Patna. Singh was on his way to his sister's house when he was caught by the police at Gaigrah Chowk, Patna.
"The team will be rewarded Rs 10,000 for the excellent detection," said Prakash.
The incident has prompted the south region police to step-up security. They plan to put up posters to increase awareness. "People have to be vigilant and not hand over children to anyone they don't know," said Prakash.
'We want son to forget incident'
"I thought I would never see my son again. I'm grateful to the police for bringing him back safely to me," said Rupali, mother of five-year-old Manthan Jadhav. When Manthan cried for his mother, his kidnapper Rakesh Singh would pacify him saying they were visiting their native place, Rupali told HT. "He [Manthan] is scared, but he identified Singh as the man who took him in the train. Manthan said Singh bought him a cold drink and something to eat."
Rupali said she will not send Manthan to his playschool for a few days. "We are considering going to Pune. I want him to forget this incident."