The police on Tuesday arrested a 30-year-old man from his Juhu residence for allegedly staging the kidnapping of his three-year-old son with the help of his lover to get money from his in-laws.
The crime branch, which made the arrest, said Naresh Ingle, a DTP operator, had filed a complaint at Santacruz police station on December 26 last year that his son, Kalpak, was missing.
"Naresh told the police that Kalpak went missing on December 25 after he had taken his wife and son to an ice-cream parlour close to their home," said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime).
A few days later, Naresh, a resident of Indra Nagar on Juhu Tara Road, told the police that he had started receiving ransom calls from a woman who identified herself as Yasika Singh. "Naresh said Singh asked him for Rs 5 lakh in return for information on the child's whereabouts. After that, the crime branch was roped in," said Roy.
The police got suspicious after Naresh refused to assist them in laying a trap for the kidnappers several times. "His lack of willingness to help locate his son raised doubts so we started tracking Naresh. That's how we discovered he was involved in his own son's kidnapping," said Roy. The police said Naresh had kept his son at the Malvani residence of his lover, Nazia Shaikh.
"We discovered Kalpak at Nazia's residence. He has been handed over to his mother," said Roy. "We have arrested Naresh and Shaikh for kidnapping the boy." Naresh's motive, Roy said, was money. "He was looking for easy money and assumed that if Swati faces a crisis, her parents, who are based in Buldhana, would pay the ransom."
Swati, 29, is in shock and cannot believe her husband was behind the kidnapping. "I never suspected my husband. After my son went missing, he would tell me not to worry and say our child was safe. When I asked him how he knew, he would say his belief in God told him so. I can't believe he is responsible," she said.