Two years after a 10-month-old child was abducted from the premises of Mansa Devi temple during the Navratra celebrations,a local court here on Wednesday held two people guilty while acquitted five other accused in the case.
Kashmeera Singh was found guilty of kidnapping under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code while the other accused,Ravi,was held guilty of putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion under Section 387. Quantum of both the sentences would be pronounced on December 5.
As the prosecution failed to produce substantive evidence against the other five accused,the court acquitted them. Arti,Pratap and Jaspal,three of the five acquitted,were accused of abduction. The other two acquitted are Jitender and Pradeep. They were accused of extortion.
On November 28,2011,Anil and Sarita,Pinjore residents,had gone to pay obeisance at the temple with their 10-month-old son Nishant. While her husband went to make a phone call,Sarita was waiting in the queue with Nishant where one unknown couple,Aarti and Kashmeera,befriended her. On feeling thirsty,she asked the couple to take care of her son till she returned after drinking water. On coming back,Sarita could not find her son while the couple was missing.
The matter was then reported at the Mansa Devi Police Station and a case of kidnapping (under Section 365) was registered. However,when Saritas brother Ashu received a phone call regarding a ransom of Rs 10 lakh in exchange for the kidnapped child,the case was changed to kidnapping for ransom (under Section 364-A). A day before,Ashu had given ads in some newspapers for information on his nephew.
When the police nabbed two youths,Ravi and Pradeep from Dera Bassi,through their mobile locations,it turned out that they had not kidnapped the child. The two were trying to cash in on the opportunity by asking for ransom after seeing the newspaper ads. The police also arrested one Jitender,who had sold the SIM used for the phone call to the duo on a fake address.
Finally,in February 2012,the police located Kashmeera and Aarti at a village of Gurdaspur. However,Kashmeera told the police that he had sold the child for Rs 70,000 with his father Pratap Singh to one Jaspal. Nishant was then rescued from Jaspal and was handed over to his parents. Jaspal along with Kashmeeras wife Aarti and father Pratap was arrested by the police.
While his wife and father were acquitted by the court,Kashmeera was found guilty of kidnapping. The charge of kidnapping for ransom under Section 364-A was changed to kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine the person,as he had not asked for any ransom.
The shopkeepers,Jitendra and Pratap,were also let off in the case. Based on the voice sample collected,Ravi was held guilty of asking for ransom.