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Kidnapped Karnit back home after dramatic rescue

Last updated on: April 20, 2011 21:17 IST

Kidnapped Karnit back home after dramatic rescue

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Nearly two weeks after he was kidnapped outside his Mumbai home, a five-year-old boy was rescued by police safely on Wednesday in a flawless operation after he was traced in a remote village near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

Karnit Shah, who went missing while playing near his high-rise Pranik Garden home in suburban Kandivili district on April 6, returned home and was reunited with his family members amid joyous scenes after he was brought back to Mumbai by air on Wednesday evening. Karnit appeared fine and looked hale and hearty.

Police said four people involved in kidnapping of the son of a stock broker were arrested. Two of them -- Sameer and Sandeep -- who lured the boy to a cake shop near his home were picked up in Malad on April 18. The cake shop owner Sohanlal Gupta was later arrested after the duo spilled the beans.

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Additional Inputs by N Ganesh


Image: Karnik with his parents
Photographs: Sahil Salvi
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The prime accused Sujit Bhind, who the UP police said was the driver of Karnit's father, was arrested in a remote village, 55 km from Allahabad on Wednesday after which the boy was rescued.

The boy was initially taken to Nashik and later to Allahabad where he was kept for some 10 days, Mumbai police said.

The abduction was worrisome since there was no contact with the boy's family for several days until a couple of days back when a Rs one crore ransom demand was made to the family, Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik told media persons in Mumbai.

Inspector Rakesh Sharma, who was involved in the operation, was also present.



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Karnit was presented to mediamen at the ceremonial lounge at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport in the presence of Patnaik, who said the boy was a "very special guest."

Emotional scenes were witnessed at the lounge with the boy's family members hugging and embracing him. Karnit's mother also broke down on seeing her son.

The boy's father had also used social networking site Facebook to help locate his son. Anand Shah had uploaded Karnit's photos on Facebook with his phone number.

Patnaik told media persons flanked by the boy sitting on the lap of a police inspector that there could have been "serious trouble" had the police been a little late since Bhind came to know that his "associates" involved in the abduction were picked up.



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Bhind, the driver of the boy's father and who allegedly brought him to UP, was arrested during a joint operation by a Mumbai police squad and a special team set up by the UP Special Task Force(STF), Additional Superintendent of Police (trans-Ganga) Jai Prakash told reporters in Allahabad.

"The Uttar Pradesh police was informed by the Mumbai police that the boy Karnit Shah was believed to have been brought to the state by Bhind, who was allegedly involved with some kidnappers there who had demanded ransom from his father," he said.

Prakash said the STF team went to Bhind's home in the neighbouring district of Bhadohi where it was told that he had gone to meet his brother-in-law Ramashankar Bhind.

The Mumbai police was informed about the development on Tuesday night and its team arrived in Uttar Pradesh early on Wednesday morning even as the STF kept a watch on Bhind's house in Sujaula village under Handia police station area, around 55 km from Allahabad, from where Bhind was arrested and the boy was rescued.



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The Mumbai police team took the driver and the boy, by air, to the western metropolis via Varanasi.

Bhind had apparently "trapped the boy with the promise of showing him the countryside and upon reaching here he told all his acquaintances that he had brought his employer's son for a pleasure trip".

Karnit's family had initially registered a missing person's complain but It was later upgraded as a kidnapping case after preliminary investigation.

Soon after Karnit went missing, his family had announced a reward of Rs two lakh to the person who helped them find the boy.

Police had also released the sketches of the suspect.



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Chandrakant said the family had received some calls from unidentified people who demanded money saying that Karnit was with them.

"But later they did not call again so we are not sure if they were the same persons whose sketches were released," he added.

Karnit's grandfather Chandrakant Shah said, "We are very thankful to the police who have put tremendous efforts to trace my grandson. A policeman called us in the morning and told us that my grandson has been traced in Uttar Pradesh and they are on their way with him to Mumbai in a flight."

"This is an very emotional moment for all of us. He is a very special guest and we have been never been excited like today," said Patnaik, adding, "I think Karnit has God's blessings and lots of luck."

Anand Shah the father of the boy showered heaps of praises on the Mumbai Police and UP ATS.

"For the first time I saw Mumbai Police from a close quarter and their work has been very impressive. All the policemen cutting across ranks toiled to get Karnit back as if he was their family member," said Shah.



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