Kollam: Even as the police released the sketch of a woman who was allegedly involved in the abduction of a six-year-old child from Oyoor in Kollam, indications are that there was another woman in the kidnappers' gang.
The child, who was later found abandoned at the Ashramam Maidan, is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital here.
There were “two aunts” in the house where she was put up on Monday night, the child informed the police in a statement. It is also being investigated whether the woman suspected to be involved in the kidnapping attempt of a child at Puliyila near Kannanallur on the same day was also involved in the Oyoor incident. The police have released her sketch as well.
A team of expert doctors examined the child at Govt Victoria Hospital on Wednesday. She may be sent home today. Her parents and brother are with her.
Meanwhile, it is alleged that it was a serious lapse on the part of the police to shift the kidnapped child to the AR camp from Ashramam Maidan, where she was first spotted on Tuesday afternoon. According to experts, the child should have been immediately rushed to the hospital for a medical examination and counselling.
The child was made to sit in the AR camp for four-and-a-half hours. Though journalists were not allowed here, people's representatives and CPM-DYFI leaders were allowed inside. The people's representatives even clicked pictures with the child and posted them on Facebook. At 6.15 pm, the girl was admitted to the government hospital.
Though the investigation team examined tens of thousands of calls that came under the mobile tower limits in Oyoor, from where the child was abducted, nothing suspicious could be found. The police are examining the calls over the last six months, including that of the child's parents. A special police team of around 200 personnel has been constituted to investigate the matter.
The investigation has been expanded beyond Kollam district. The decision to broaden the search for suspects to neighbouring districts coincides with ongoing police raids in locations such as Chathannoor, Paravur, and Chirakkara within Kollam district. The investigation is specifically scrutinising transactions conducted in the neighboring districts by individuals suspected to be involved in the kidnapping incident.
The police have obtained CCTV footage clearly depicting the faces of the accused in a car with the child near Chathannoor, located 10 km from Oyoor. Since the suspects refrained from using mobile phones, these visuals play a crucial role in the investigation. On Wednesday, the police thoroughly inspected the Ashramam grounds where a woman associated with the kidnapping gang left the child. However, they were unable to locate the alleged blue car in which the child was reportedly brought to the city or the residence where the kidnappers stayed. It has been confirmed that the number plate on the car was fake. A search is also underway to trace those responsible for creating the counterfeit number plate.
Police found that there was a separate group providing instructions intermittently to the kidnapping gang. Additionally, an escort team on a motorcycle was observed, relaying information about police presence to those inside the car with the child. The police have received information suggesting that the gang stayed somewhere near Kollam on the night of the kidnapping. It remains unclear where the gang could have safely stayed when the police were combing the entire area.
Bid to abduct 12-year-old
Meanwhile, a gang attempted to abduct a 12-year-old girl in Kottarakara while she was on her way to tuition class. She wriggled out when the alleged kidnappers grabbed her and tried to force her into the van, she told police. Kottarakkara Police said they are conducting a detailed investigation into the incident.
(In compliance with the District Child Welfare Committee's directive not to disclose details about the abducted girl, information such as the name, address, and photograph of the child is being withheld.)