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Man left kidnapped boy in Punawale with bag carrying father’s number: Police

The four-year-old was kidnapped from Saykar Garden in Balewadi area around 9.45 am on January 11 by a suspect on a two-wheeler.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: January 20, 2022 11:25:03 am
Swarnav with his family and Pune police officials.(Express photo)

A four-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from Balewadi last week, was found at Punawale area on Wednesday and reunited with his family. The boy, Swarnav alias Duggu, is the son of a doctor couple, Satish and Prachi Chavan. Police suspect that the person who kidnapped the boy released him on Wednesday at a building in Punawale.

Swarnav was kidnapped from Saykar garden in Balewadi area around 9.45 am on January 11 by kidnappers who used a two-wheeler to flee. The spot where the kidnapping took place is located close to the Balewadi police chowki.

“An extensive probe is still on to arrest the suspects behind kidnapping. The investigation till now involves teams from 20 police stations in Pune, along with squads from the Crime Branch, close to around 350 police personnel and officers. We looked at footage from CCTV cameras installed within a radius of 30-35 km. Because we had obtained the partial registration plate number of the bike, we looked at 72 bikes. We checked all the people connected to the family and the daily routine of the boy and his family members. We checked history-sheeters with possible links to such abductions,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime), Ramnath Pokale.

Search for kidnapper continues

“Around 2 pm on Wednesday, a man whose face was covered with a cloth came to a building in Punawale area. The boy was with him. The man told the security guard and some people working there that he had some work and asked if they could look after the boy for half-an-hour. The man then left hurriedly, leaving the boy and a bag behind.

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However, he did not return for a long time and the boy started crying. The security guard and others then checked the bag and found a note with contact details of the father of the boy. When they called the father, he asked the callers to confirm the boy’s presence by video call. After confirming that the boy was with them, family members and police teams went to the spot and found the boy,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Rohidas Pawar.

DCP Pawar added, “We suspect that the man who dropped the boy at the building was the kidnapper. Pune City Police, with the help of Pimpri-Chinchwad Police, are conducting a joint probe to trace the suspect or suspects as the case may be. As part of our probe, we had zeroed in on the same area around Punawale. We believe that after finding out that we were close, the suspect may have released the boy.”

Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve said the investigation was in its last stage and this case would be solved “100 per cent”. Police said different angles are being probed to identify and arrest the kidnapper.

Our boy is safe: Family

Swarnav’s father, Satish Chavan, said, “My son is back and safe and he is with his loved ones. That is all that matters right now.”

Chavan had earlier left posts on social media, appealing the kidnapper to take money and return his son.

Swarnav’s uncle Sachin Chavan said, “After Swarnav was kidnapped and we got to know about it, we informed the police. Subsequently, a large police machinery was pressed into action. Even when some of them tested positive for Covid-19, they were on the job and kept following up. The family was kept in the loop all the time and we were given regular updates of what was happening and what they were doing next. The police handled the case as if Swarnav was one of their own and because of their attitude, we remained hopeful.”

He added, “… There was a lot of support on social media. A large number of people shared posts about Swarnav. I guess people saw their own child in Swarnav and prayed for us. We firmly believe that solid support from the police and prayers of thousands of people helped us get through those difficult days.

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