OFFICERS WITH the Government Railway Police (GRP) rescued an 8-month-old girl who was kidnapped from Pune Railway Station on February 5. Police said the accused had taken the baby to Walhekarwadi in Chinchwad and a search operation has been launched to find her accomplice. The accused, identified as Ranjana Jagannath Panchal, alias Anushka Ranpise (29), has confessed that she had kidnapped the girl since she could not conceive, police said. “She was in a fix as she had told her husband that she was pregnant, although she had undergone a tubectomy,” an officer added.
Parents of the girl, Gensiddh and Laxmi Chabukeshwar, had traveled to Pune from Akkalkot in Solapur district in search of work. They had been staying at the railway station for two days when the incident took place. “On February 5, they had met the woman near a dargah around 7 pm. The couple had given the girl to the woman as they wanted to go for a meal. But she fled with the child,” police said.
CCTV footage from the railway station premises revealed that the woman had used an autorickshaw to flee with the baby. Police nabbed the driver, who said he had dropped the woman at Ganpati Matha in Malwadi. The footage also showed that the accused had boarded another rickshaw heading towards Uttamnagar. The Local Crime Branch then questioned rickshaw drivers operating on the route and found that the woman was dropped at the vegetable market in Uttam Nagar.
“Through informers, we got to know that a man and a woman carrying a baby had arrived at a house in Uttamnagar on the night of February 5. After visiting the family, the police received a tip-off that the accused’s cousin stayed in Walhekarwadi. We visited Walhekarwadi and found the woman, her husband and the kidnapped girl,” said Prabhakar Bhudhwant, Superintendent of Police, GRP.
The girl has been handed over to her parents and the accused has been arrested under relevant sections. Her accomplice is yet to be nabbed, police added.