The accused had recced the locality for a week before trying to kidnap the 10-year-old son of a businessman from Vile Parle (East) on Friday afternoon. Their plan was foiled after a coordinated effort from the police saw the main accused being arrested within two hours.
Police say the plot was well-planned as the accused had even developed codes to communicate. They had also factored in the possibility that they may have to abort the plan if someone alerted the police.
A preliminary probe has revealed that the main accused, Seema Dharve, who was working as a household help in the businessman’s house for seven years, along with her accomplices Milind Waradkar, Rohit Divakar, Robert Balkrishna, Bhagyesh Balan and Prem Gupta, had planned to kidnap the boy on Thursday.
However, Dharve developed cold feet and the plan was scrapped. An officer from the Vile Parle police station said that on Thursday, while the boy was on a stroll with Dharve, Divakar joined her and held the child’s hand in a bid to force him into a vehicle, but Dharve signaled to him to back off.
The original plan was to enact a kidnapping drama where both Dharve and the victim would be abducted so that Dharve would not become a suspect, the police said. But during the stroll, Dharve, thinking that a woman from the locality had seen her, decided not to follow through, and told her accomplice to flee with the boy in the SUV, said Shashikant Talegaonkar, senior inspector of Vile Parle police station.
After raising an alarm and informing a police officer on patrol in the locality, Dharve sent a text message with the letter ‘D’ to one of the accused — a cue to abandon the child and flee from the area, said police officials. When the police learnt about Dharve’s role in the kidnapping, they checked her cellphone, but she had erased the message, although she later confessed to her role in the plot.
The police are now awaiting the call history and text message exchanges from the telecom companies to use as evidence against her.
Vishwas Nangre-Patil, additional commissioner of police, west region, said, “We are probing if someone had provoked Seema to kidnap the boy, or if she engineered the kidnapping.” Dharve has told the police that they had planned to reach Dahisar with the child and keep him in captivity till they received the ransom.
The accused were produced before a metropolitan court that remanded them in police custody till March 22.