Barely 48 hours after two-month-old Shahid was kidnapped from the compound of the civic health centre at Govandi, a youth carrying a knife entered the centre’s compound from the rear entrance. The security guard, who caught him, said the youth wanted to cut some tree branches to use in a cooking fire at his home.
M D Phullari, the lone security guard stationed at the civic health centre when Shahid was kidnapped, said: “The youth managed to enter the premises. Even though he did not have any dangerous intentions, it shows how vulnerable the centre is. We did not hand him over to the police as he was a minor; he was harmless. However, our belongings have often been stolen from the compound.”
Phullari said intruders easily manage to scale the security wall. There is also a playground adjoining one section and children often climb over the wall to enter the compound.
Another guard, who refused to be identified, said: “On many occasions earlier, drug addicts broke off parts of the gate, which was in a dilapidated condition, to sell as scrap. Only recently were proper gates installed. A single tubelight lights up one end of the compound. That too was installed only a month ago. We are not sure if we could have nabbed the kidnapper even if these problems didn’t exist, but having basic security in place is always helpful.”
The guard added: “We regularly caution women visiting the centre to take care of the children accompanying them, but on many occasions they yell back at us. They tell us not to tell them how to take care of their children.”