Police on Tuesday located a four-month-old baby who was kidnapped from Andheri West last week at the home of a couple in a Telangana village. The couple, who had allegedly paid Rs 4 lakh to the kidnappers, were under the impression that they had adopted the baby, police said. Three men were arrested in this connection on Tuesday.
The childless couple living in Panagal village near Nalgonda town of Telangana had allegedly approached a registered local medical practitioner, Mohammad Nasruddin Bashiruddin (46), seeking help in adopting a child. Bashiruddin is alleged to have asked the couple to pay him Rs 4 lakh for the same. He had then contacted his friend Mahesh Ditti (38), who lives in Andheri West and works as a delivery boy at shops in the locality. In turn, Ditti had allegedly asked an autorickshaw driver, Ramesh Vyampati (42), to drive him around Andheri West in search of a child.
Early morning on November 11, the accused were driving around in Vyampati’s vehicle when they spotted a family sleeping on a pavement. They picked up the baby boy sleeping next to his mother and drove away, police said.
“The kidnappers then hired another car and drove to Hyderabad,” said Pandharinath Wavhal, senior inspector at Juhu police station.
The baby’s distraught parents then filed a complaint with the police after they woke up and could not locate their child. Police had initially suspected that the baby may have been sold to beggars. They had scoured traffic junctions and signals across the Andheri West in order to locate him.
“There was no CCTV camera close to where the family was sleeping. We had to scan nearly 300 cameras to locate the vehicles the kidnappers had used,” Wavhal said.
Police said that they had not suspected that the baby had been trafficked across the state lines until assistant police inspector Haribhau Biradar’s informants told him that the kidnappers were in Telangana. By the time police tracked down Ditti and Vyampati, they had already sold the baby to Bashiruddin for Rs 2.5 lakh, as per Wavhal. “On Tuesday morning, we arrested the doctor and rescued the baby from the home of the couple. They had no idea that the child had been kidnapped,” he said.
The police team arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday evening and handed the baby back to his mother.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines