The lecturer, Marularadhya, got into the Bangalore-Kannur train at Channarayapatna on his way to Mangalore.
He saw the boys, Rakesh and Pavan, wearing uniforms and blazers, sitting near the toilet. The boys did not oblige when he asked them to sit beside him on the seat. He saw two well-built men talking on the mobile phone and suspected them to have kidnapped the boys.
But, being alone, Marularadhya decided not to confront them. Pretending to sleep, he overheard their conversations on the phone and was convinced that they were planning to sell the boys off.
He snatched diaries in the boy’s possession and learnt they were class VII students of East West School at Mahalakshmi Layout, Bangalore. He called up a number in one of the diaries only to find that the boy’s relatives were worried about him and had lodged a missing complaint with the police.
The ‘kidnappers’ learnt of Marularadhya’s efforts to reunite the boys with their families. They claimed to be the boys’ neighbours taking them home. They had a heated argument with Marularadhya.
Before the lecturer could speak to the police on the platform, the ‘kidnappers’ had escaped. He handed over the boys to the police and continued his journey.
However, police said two people, who told the boys they would drop them home, had put them on the train in Bangalore and alighted before it departed. The boys had then gone to sleep.
On approaching Sakleshpur, the boys started crying. The co-passengers informed the police, who, in turn, called up the boys’ parents and informed them about the incident.
The parents arrived in Sakleshpur in a car and took them to Bangalore.