Bangalore: The mystery kidnapper has struck again, this time whisking away a nine-year-old girl in Yelahanka on July 21. After keeping the girl with him for two days, he dropped her back at the same spot. According to the cops, the incident marks the 23rd time he is reported to have kidnapped children, all of them girls, in the city and surrounding districts.
The police suspect the 30-year-old man is a psychopath who derives vicarious pleasure from keeping pre-adolescent girls with him. The manhunt for the suspect continues, but the cops have themselves to blame for not checking his antecedents thoroughly when he was nabbed on June 30 and sent to jail on a theft charge. After he came out on bail on July 5, he has already kidnapped three girls.
Ravi Kumar alias Ravi alias Babu alias Prakash claims to be a resident of Rampura near Hoskote. A senior officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Ravi seems to be a psychopath who is kidnapping the girls with some other intention than stealing jewellery from them. He may be doing it to fulfill a perverted sexual desire, but has not raped any of his victims. But we are not taking any chances – he should be caught as early as possible. We still remember that the Dandupalya gang were not raping or killing people when they started on their life of crime. This man could end up as notorious as they were.”
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Hemanth Nimbalkar said, “When we nab him, we will get to the bottom of his motives for kidnapping the girls.”
Ravi’s modus operandi is to lure the girls with sweets while claiming to be a relative. He takes them to far-off places, relieves them of earrings, bangles and chains, and drops them back at the same spot after a couple of days.
After his release from jail, he abducted a 9-year-old girl in Banasawadi. The incident drew the ire of home minister K J George, following which the police stepped up their search and pasted his photographs across the city.
‘Girl was drugged’
The July 21 incident involved a nine-year-old girl from Kamakshamma Layout in Yelahanka. He dropped the girl back near her home at around 8 pm on July 24. The girl, studying in class IV, told the police that her ‘brother-in-law’ took her to a far-off place and she was alone with him for three days. She said he bought her whatever she asked for and spoke to her with ‘love’.
While she was being taken away by Ravi on his bike, her uncle Chandra Mohan saw them and asked her where she was going. She signaled to him to say she would come back from a nearby shop.
“The girl told us that she does not remember much what Ravi used to do to her as she fell unconscious when he closed her mouth with his hand. We suspect he gave her some kind of drug,” Nagesh, her relative, said. “All she remembers is that when she complained of feeling cold, Ravi brought her a jacket and also a dress. When she complained of hunger, he used to give her idlis all the time,” he added. Nagesh said the girl was not wearing any jewellery other than a silver chain on her leg, but that was intact when she returned home.
The Yelahanka police said the girl was subjected to a medical test and sexual abuse was ruled out. “But we are sure he used the girl in other ways,” they said.
ALMOST GOT CAUGHT
The suspect narrowly escaped being caught by the public recently, when he was found roaming suspiciously in Bagepalli with a young girl whom he had abducted from Mahadevpura. The girl was rescued but Ravi managed to get away. In another case, he told enquiring people that the girl with him was his daughter. When they insisted on going with the duo to Bangalore, he called a woman in the city and made them speak to her. She fooled them into believing the girl was her daughter. The police suspect the woman is Ravi’s girlfriend. He also has an associate identified as Devaraj of Kolar.
Attempting to read the suspect’s mind, Dr BR Madhukar, senior psychiatrist, St Martha’s Hospital, says, “The man’s behavour is quite unusual. He may be doing this because he was deprived of parental love and affection as a child. Such persons ‘compensate’ by showing love and affection to children. But why he is choosing only girls is something only an interrogation can reveal. He could also be deriving perverse satisfaction from
spending time alone with children. His fixation prevents him from thinking of the consequences of his acts.”