A Panvel teenager who bunked school with two of his friends was brought back more than 24 hours later by the Mumbai Police from Uttar Pradesh, where he had been taken by an alleged kidnapper.
The three boys, students of Class IX at a prominent school in Panvel, sneaked out of school on September 30 around 10.30 am, the police said. The boys took a train to Bandra and went to Bandra Terminus, where they met the accused Sonu Mishra alias Aryan (19).
“The accused, who was loitering around the railway station, spotted the boys in school uniform and asked them where they were going,” said Sunil Bajare, senior inspector, Panvel City police station.
When the boys confessed to having bunked school, Mishra offered to take them to Girgaum Chowpatty. Mishra, the police said, bought the children food and refreshments at the chowpatty before taking them to Juhu Beach. In the evening, Mishra allegedly took the boys to Kurla railway station, and insisted that they accompany him on a long-distance train, the police said.
“Two of the boys hesitated even as Mishra forced them to come along. They managed to run away and took a train to Tilak Nagar, from where they called their parents. They then returned home,” Bajare said. Mishra, however, took the third boy with him.
At 11.15 pm, they boarded the Rajendra Nagar Express, the police said. By this time, the school authorities had informed the boys’ parents of their absence, and a case of kidnapping had been registered.
“We went through CCTV footage at Kurla station and spotted the accused and the boy boarding the train. We contacted the Uttar Pradesh railway police, and learnt that the two had last been spotted at Chukki railway station.
After sending a photograph of the boy and the accused to UP, a team of three officers from Panvel flew to Allahabad. At 11.30 pm on October 1, the UP railway police caught the accused and the boy and handed over their custody to the Panvel police. “We have got custody of the accused for seven days and will investigate what his motive was in kidnapping the boy,” Bajare said.