A 5-year-old boy has been rescued by the Delhi Police after a brief exchange of fire with the kidnappers, from an apartment in Ghaziabad. The boy was abducted from his school bus on January 25, despite the heightened security arrangements and police deployment in place for the Republic Day, the ASEAN Summit, and the Padmaavat protests.
During the encounter, one of the kidnappers was shot dead by the police, while another was injured.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Alok Kumar was quoted by the Indian Express as saying that the minor was rescued following a lead provided by one of the persons relaying information to the kidnappers. However, he refused to share any more details of the case.
How did police get to the kidnappers?
Two days after the abduction, while the search for the minor was still underway, his father received a call from the kidnappers who allegedly demanded a ransom of Rs 70 lakh.
The Delhi Police commissioner immediately transferred the case from the Shahdara district to the crime branch.
A Crime Branch team of Delhi Police rescued a child from Ghaziabad last night where he was kidnapped & held captive. 1 arrested, another injured & a 3rd kidnapper killed after they opened fire on police & they retaliated. Child handed over to his parents. Investigation underway.— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 6, 2018
"The police started scanning all the CCTV footage and established that the kidnappers before executing the incident had conducted a recce," police sources said.
The sources added that the kidnappers had been caught on camera several times. Later, with the help of technical surveillance, the police started tracking their location and traced them.
Kidnappers' trap foiled
The kidnappers have been identified as Nitin and Ravi. The duo had rented a room in the fifth floor of one Shalimar City apartment building in Ghaziabad, where they had kept the boy.
The boy's father agreed to pay the ransom for him. Meanwhile, the cops discovered that a third person was passing information to the two kidnappers.
Nitin and Ravi were asked by this person to collect the cash. However, this associate was arrested by the police, and he provided them with the address of the house where the kidnappers had kept the minor. The cops zeroed in on the location.
One of the investigating police officials said: "A trap was laid near the flat, situated at Loni border, where the kidnapper Ravi opened fire at police after seeing them. In retaliation, the police also fired on him and he was shot dead on the spot.
"The police also fired on Nitin, who sustained two gunshots. Several rounds of fire were exchanged between the accused and police. All the victims, including some police personnel, were taken to GTB Hospital for medical treatment."
Two men with guns, and their faces covered with helmets arrived on a black bike and barged into a school bus ferrying 14 children, in Delhi on January 25 They threatened the passengers in the bus as they asked the driver for the details of a boy in specific.
A police officer asserted: "Minutes after the bus halted, two men parked their black-coloured bike nearby and entered the bus. They asked the driver about the details of a particular boy, and when he refused to share details, one of them pointed the gun at a woman attendant sitting in the front seat."
The officer further added that one of the kidnappers then went and grabbed the boy from his seat, while his sister held his hand. The abductor then pointed the gun at the minor's sister and shot the driver on his thigh.
"The two then fled towards Uttar Pradesh with the boy," said the police officer as he reaffirmed that the child was dressed in fancy clothing to participate in a school event. He pointed out that the minor was not carrying his identification card at the time.
"Police rushed to the spot and took the driver to GTB Hospital, from where he was referred to Safdarjung Hospital," another officer said.
However, it's yet to be ascertained as to why was the child targetted by the kidnappers.