Cops clueless about Jahnvi's abductors, CCTV cams fail them

Cops clueless about Jahnvi's abductors, CCTV cams fail them

While trying to trace Jahnvi’s abductors, police were twice unlucky with CCTV cameras, forcing them to seek options like tracking mobile phones.

The first time was immediately after the three-year-old’s abduction. The CCTV footage of India Gate lawns was scanned only to realise that Jahnvi had been picked up exactly at the time the camera rotated away from her.

After she was released on Sunday night, police looked for CCTV cameras on the stretch of the road in Janakpuri where she was found. That stretch of road also serves as the weekly flea market on Sundays and only one CCTV camera was found covering the area where she was located.

But the high resolution camera had not been functioning since Saturday morning. In any case, police have seized footage from five CCTV cameras from Janakpuri and are scanning them for clues.

“We are also looking to track which  phone numbers were active in the India Gate area around the time of the kidnapping and in Janakpuri when she was released,” a police officer said.

It is suspected that a childless couple was in possession of Jahnvi and police are probing if any organised gang selling children to such couples as involved. IVF clinics in the city too will be approached.

“A childless couple’s role is also suspected because of Jahnvi’s constant reference to her abductors as mummy and papa. She appears to have developed a close bond with the abductors. They had been offering her ice cream regularly,” said the officer.

Jahnvi is the first child to have been kidnapped from the India Gate lawns for more than one and a half years, said police.

“Since March 2013, this is first such case of a child gone missing or kidnapped from that area. There have been incidents of children being reported missing, but they were found by their parents within an hour or two of their disappearance,” S B S Tyagi, Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), told Deccan Herald.

Meanwhile, celebrations, which began soon after television channels announced Jahnvi’s recovery on Sunday night, continued on Monday. “No one is allowed to leave home till they have had their lunch,” said Jahnvi’s aunt Vineeta who was seen persuading even journalists to eat.

Over 200 relatives, neighbours and others from the area had gathered near Jahnvi’s house on Sunday night, bursting crackers that had been left over from Dussehra celebrations. “My daughter has got a new life and I am reborn as a father,” her father Rakesh said.

While much of Monday was spent in granting interviews to TV channels and newspaper reporters, Rakesh said he aimed to continue using social networking platforms to help other parents find their missing children.

“My brothers-in-law had started a campaign on Facebook soon after Jahnvi went missing. Apart from the effort by police and media, social networking helped bring back my daughter. I want to keep this campaign alive and have the focus shifted to other such parents as soon as we settle down now,” he said.

He said neither he nor his wife bore ill-will towards the abductors. “They must be desperate to have a child. I feel more of sympathy than anger,” he said.

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