The Vadodara Crime Branch Saturday arrested a young migrant couple, who was on their way to Uttar Pradesh as part of the exodus of labourers, for kidnapping a six month old child from Sachin area of Surat.
The accused identified as Amit Ghadhiya (25) and his wife Anita (25), originally from Kharsola village in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh, has told the police that they intended to raise the baby as their own after losing two of their children previously.
Yearning for a child for over two years, after they lost two of their consecutive children to sickness, the accused decided to kidnap the six month old boy from a neighbouring family of migrant workers before fleeing with a group of migrant labourers that had began walking home, police said.
The police said that both families were neighbours and working as factory labourers in Sachin GIDC area of Surat. On Friday afternoon, the complaint states, the mother of the baby had gone out to fetch biscuits for her family and left the baby sleeping in a cloth cradle near their rented room. During that time, taking advantage of the fact that no one was watching her, Anita picked up the child and left along with Amit.
When the mother returned and found her baby missing, she raised an alarm and they realised that the accused couple were gone with their belongings and had locked their home. That is when locals approached the police, suspecting that the couple may have left along with the many migrants who had begun walking back to their native villages in UP and taken the baby along.
“Immediately after the child’s parents contacted the Surat police, they communicated to Vadodara CP Anupam Singh Gahlaut that preliminary inquiry had revealed that the Ghadhiya couple had boarded a truck to travel from Surat to Vadodara, where they would alight at Golden Chowkdi. We requested the Surat police to share photos of the child so that we could confirm the identity. We immediately dispatched our team in plain clothes and entrusted them with the task of finding the child in the crowd. Luckily, not many labourers were carrying infants along so we could spot Anita with the baby,” said DCP Crime Branch, Jaydeepsinh Jadeja, adding that the police checked about seven young couples who were carrying children when they arrived in Vadodara on Saturday.
“Since most of the labourers are usually young, there tend to be many families. We checked everyone who had infants and found Anita with the child. The couple took care of the baby although they walked some distance from Surat to Vadodara and then hopped on to a truck. They told us they didn’t intend to harm the baby in any way because they wanted to keep the baby as their own. She even had a bottle to feed the baby on the way. The child is healthy and unharmed. It is sad that they ended up committing a crime,” Jadeja said.
A team of Surat police has left for Vadodara along with the parents of the child to reunite them as well as to take custody of the accused. The accused couple has been arrested under IPC sections 363 (Kidnapping from lawful guardianship) and 365 (kidnapping with the intention of wrongful confinement).