Kidnapped and sold, 3-yr-old reunited with mother

Kidnapped and sold for Rs 60,000, 3-yr-old reunited with mother after 10 months

The boy went missing in November last year from near his home in Shamanna Garden

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

A three-year-old boy kidnapped and sold for Rs 60,000 to a family has been reunited with his mother after 10 months.

The case would have remained unsolved if it were not for relentless pursuit by the boy’s mother and some meticulous detective work by Byatarayanapura police inspector Nagaraj M N and his team.

The boy went missing in November last year from near his home in Shamanna Garden, Mysuru Road. The jurisdictional Byatarayanapura police tried to trace him but gave up after reaching a dead end. The case was transferred to the Basavanagudi women’s police station a month ago and put in cold storage.

But the mother didn’t give up and visited the Byatarayanapura police station almost daily, assuming that the cops were still investigating the case and imploring them to trace her son. Her plight moved the inspector, Nagaraj, and he decided to take back the case for reinvestigation. The inspector pledged to crack the case and reunite the boy with the mother.

The police decided to go the old-fashioned way in the investigation. They gathered details of the family’s neighbours and all the people who visited them. One of the neighbours was a young woman, who was often visited by her boyfriend, a 22-year-old man named Karthik. Police zeroed in on him as a potential suspect and dug up all information about him. He turned out to be a vehicle thief once arrested by Vijayanagar police.

Police detained him for questioning. It didn’t take them much time to know what had happened.

Karthik told the police that he had kidnapped the boy in November last year and sold him for Rs 60,000 to a couple in a village near Hosur, Tamil Nadu. A police team rescued the boy from the village, produced it before the Child Welfare Committee and reunited it with the mother, said Sanjeev M Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West).

Karthik made a living by selling vegetables near Sarjapur, Southeast Bengaluru, and in areas near the Tamil Nadu border. He had befriended a man whose sister-in-law had lost all her three children and was desperately looking to adopt a child.

Karthik met the couple and lied to them that he had four children, offering to give one of them for adoption because of poverty. He claimed that his earnings had decreased because of the pandemic and he could no longer afford to raise the children. In return, he asked for Rs 60,000 and promised to spend the money on his other children.

Karthik subsequently kidnapped the boy and handed it over to the couple. He promised to come back for paperwork but never returned.

Nagaraj, the inspector, said the case was an emotionally charged experience for him.

The kidnapped boy’s mother had lost her elder son to Covid-19 and was traumatised after her second children went missing. The woman who adopted the boy had lost all her children to various diseases. And ironically, doctors had told both the women that they cannot conceive ever again.

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