Basic facts of life: exams are universally dreaded; kids do not adore textbooks; some subjects are bound to inspire more terror than others.
But how categorically should an 11-year-old have to fear and loathe the above phenomena to fake his own kidnapping a day before the English Language test? Ask the Standard VI boy who, inspired by an over-the-top investigative TV series, did just that.
On Sunday, a Ghatkopar resident registered a complaint that his son, who studies in Class VI in an English medium school on Golibar Road in Ghatkopar (West), had been kidnapped. The complainant informed the cops that his son had called from a public telephone booth to say that four men in a white Omni van had kidnapped him.
Immediately, the Ghatkopar police registered a kidnapping case and started tracing the caller. But after the first call, the family did not receive any more calls from the 'kidnappers'. Further investigations revealed that the call was made from a PCO in Pant Nagar in Ghatkopar itself.
Soon a team was dispatched to the PCO. Cops made inquiries of its owner about the details of the call and the caller.
Their findings both amused and amazed them. Truth out
"We learnt that the boy had taken change from the owner of the coin box and made a call. He was unaccompanied, and appeared to be calm. We began searching for him in all the lanes in the neighbourhood. Finally, on Monday afternoon, we found him roaming on the streets," said a police officer from Ghatkopar police station.
The officials took the boy to the police station and called up his parents. The boy told the cops that he was kidnapped.
When the police asked him to describe the kidnappers, he gave vague and inconsistent replies. Eventually, he admitted that he had lied to his parents.
He told cops that he thought up the plan after watching detective series like CID and was wandering around since morning till he was spotted, cops said.
"The boy studies in a reputed school. He was supposed to appear for his unit test on Monday, but he is weak in English and was afraid of getting poor marks," said the officer.
He added, "He pretended that he was being chased by the kidnappers, and informed his parents to send immediate help."
Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Shintre confirmed the incident.