Mumbai: An eight-year-old boy kidnapped by his housing society’s watchman, was rescued within nine hours, thanks to the swift and well-coordinated actions taken by the Dattawadi police.
The motive behind the kidnapping of Dev (name changed), which occurred on Sunday at around 4 pm, is not yet completely clear. But police claim that the watchman, Pavan Patil alias Pavan Lingaraj Vaze, was allegedly not paid for the past 10 months by the security agency he works for, and may have done the crime for money.
Past midnight on Sunday, around 12.45 am, the police arrested Patil, who was working as a security guard at the Ganga Paritosh society at Suncity Road off Sinhagad Road for the past eight months.
The boy’s mother, Tinku Roy, said, “Patil was familiar with every one of us since he was working at the society for the past eight months. My son wanted to ride his bicycle but the brakes and paddles were broken. So Patil told us he would take him to a repair shop in Mahalaxmi.
He asked us for Rs. 200 and took him to the shop at around 4 pm. I was waiting for them to return but they didn’t. After about half an hour, I, along with my neighbors Varsha Shinde and Sarika Godse, went to the shop. We spotted my son’s cycle there and the shop owner told us that the watchman had left the shop a few minutes ago.”
Dev’s father, Samarpan, who deals in materials needed for mobile towers, was in Chandigarh on a business trip at the time.
Said Tinku, “We waited till 7 pm for my son and he watchman to return but they didn’t. After that we decided to approach the police. When Dattawadi police got to know about the incident, their staff swung into action and detected Patil’s mobile tower location at Satara around 11 pm.
A police team left for Satara, but the cops feared that by the time they’d reach, Patil would escape. So they alerted the Satara police and Patil was nabbed,” Tinku said.
The Satara police caught up with Patil near Mahuli railway station. Yesterday, he was remanded in police custody till February 28 by the court of judicial magistrate.
Tinku’s neighbours Varsha and Sarika, who accompanied her to the cycle shop, said, “Patil was one of the several watchmen who had worked for so long at the society. He had won our confidence and trust, but now we don’t know what to say about him. He now claims that he was not paid by his employer for the last 10 months.”
Said Tinku, “We appointed one watchman on the day shift and another on night shift. After this incident, we enquired of the security agency owner Ramesh More about Patil. But to our surprise, the agency also turned out be unauthorized.”
Kudos to cops
Cops said Patil had taken Dev to the Mumbai-Dehuroad bypass, from where they went to Satara in a jeep. Patil had bought train tickets for Kolhapur at the Mahuli railway station, when he was apprehended by the police.
A team of Inspector Sambhaji Nimbalkar, assistant police inspector Jyoti Gadkari, Sampat Pawar, sub-inspector Amit Shitole, and constables Sachin Dhawale, Suraj Sawant and Nilesh Jamdade among others pulled off the rescue operation successfully. Constable Dhawale has been rewarded with Rs. 5,000 by senior police officers for his crucial role in the operation.
The Roys’ neighbours, Shinde and Godse, said, “We never thought that the police would be so cooperative. After rescuing (Dev), API Gadkari visited our society and counselled us about precautionary measures. It was totally unexpected for us and we have decided to felicitate them.”
Inspector Sambhaji Nimbalkar, in charge of Dattawadi police station, said, “The rescue operation was a team effort. We have registered a separate case against the owner of the unauthorized security agency.” He added, “We appeal to citizens to take necessary precautions while sending their children to play and also while appointing security guards.