A three-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from his school in Pulianthope, was rescued late on Monday night. After arresting a mother-daughter duo within eight hours of the complaint, the police said they were reportedly planning to sell the child for Rs 1 lakh.
The boy was rescued from an autorickshaw parked near the accused, Kuttiyammal’s house at Mayor Krishnamoorthy Street. “His hands were tied to the seat of the autorickshaw, and his mouth was sealed with a cloth,” said a police officer.
During the investigation, the boy, Ajay Manikandan’s parents, Prakash and Durgadevi, were shown the CCTV footage retrieved from the locality. From the visuals, the couple identified the women as Kuttiyammal (38) and her daughter Aishwarya (22). Kuttiyammal worked as a construction labourer in the couple’s house in Bogipalayam last year. Police said Kuttiyammal used the acquaintance to kidnap the child, by mentioning the name of Durgadevi’s neighbour to take the child with her.
When they were interrogated in detail, the women told the police team that they kidnapped the child to sell him to another woman for Rs 1 lakh. The mother-daughter duo was arrested under Section 369 (kidnapping or abducting child under ten years) of the IPC and remanded in judicial custody, while a hunt was launched to nab the third suspect.
Around 10.30 am on Monday, Prakash, a labourer in fish market, had left Ajay at the Chennai Urdu Primary School where the boy is studying pre-KG. When he returned to pick up his son around 3 pm as usual, Menaka, a teacher, told him that Ajay was sent with his relatives after getting approval from his mother Durgadevi over the phone. As Ajay did not return home, Prakash lodged a complaint at the Pulianthope police station.
Commissioner AK Viswanathan commended the police team that included inspector M Ravi, sub-inspectors S Sajiba and K Adarsh, intelligence SSI K Adarsh, head constable R Subramanian and grade I constable Nithyanandam for cracking the case within eight hours. Along with them, Mohammed Riaz, who helped the police in the investigation with CCTV footage, was also rewarded on Tuesday.