The Nehru Nagar Police in Kurla East on Thursday arrested one Kishankumar Ram (20), for kidnapping a seven-year-old boy for ransom earlier this month. The boy was found in a hotel in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The police said Ram was being interrogated to find out if he received assistance from anyone in the crime. Zonal deputy commissioner Shahaji Umap said Nehru Nagar police had registered a case of kidnapping last Friday. The victim’s father Humayun Shaikh, a local resident, had earlier complained to the police that his son Mohammed Aftab alias Furkan had been missing since February 2. According to the police, the complainant, who works as a caterer in Dahisar, said that his went to play outside the house that day but when he did not return home till around 7 pm, his parents began searching for him. When they did not find him till morning, they approached the Nehru Nagar police station where an FIR was registered.
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On February 3, a day after the complaint, Humayun received a ransom call from the alleged kidnapper demanding a ransom of Rs 15 lakh. The caller told Humayun that “his accomplices” had surrounded Humayun’s house and if the police was contacted, he would kill the boy. The police, who had been intimated about the call, tracked it to Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.
The alleged kidnapper made two more calls, and the ransom money was brought down to Rs 5 lakh after Humayun said he would not be able to arrange the original sum demanded. The last two calls, which were being monitored by the police, were traced to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
On Monday, the family received a final call which asked Humayun to come to Varanasi with Rs 5 lakh and take his son back. A team of plain clothed policemen led by inspector Shashikant Mane accompanied Humayun to Varanasi. Eventually, the kidnapper contacted Humayun and asked him to meet him with the money at 4.30 am on Wednesday near the Varanasi railway station. The police lay in wait near the railway station and on seeing the accused reach the spot with the boy, they surrounded him and placed him under arrest. The boy was handed back to his father unharmed.
According to investors, Kishankumar Ram, the accused, had once resided in Kurla before moving to Uttar Pradesh. “He had returned to the city and had found it difficult to get a job. Last week, when he returned to Kurla and saw Furkan playing alone, he promised to get him an ice cream and brought him to Kurla railway station. There he threatened him and took him to Uttar Pradesh where he had been kept at a hotel room following which Ram made the ransom calls,” said a police officer.
Senior inspector of Nehru Nagar police station Pramod Koparde said that so far, the accused has been maintaining that he did not plan the crime in advance, but picked up the boy after he saw him playing alone. “We have sought his custodial interrogation from the court to find out if there is anyone else who was helping him in the crime,” said Koparde.