A drinking session and boasting about his wealth proved near fatal for a watchman from Nallasopara after his friends, assuming that Sunil Pandey had property worth lakhs at his village, kidnapped his three-year-old son and demanded a ransom of Rs 2 lakh. Officials of the Nallasopara police station said the Pandeys registered a complaint with them after their son Deep, who was playing right outside their residence, went missing on March 3.
Pandey, a resident of Bilalpada in Nallasopara (East), received a call on his cell phone on April 15, wherein the caller asked him to pay Rs 2 lakh if he wanted to see his son alive. He immediately contacted the police officials, who asked Pandey to call back the kidnapper and ask the kidnapper to meet him and collect money at Nallasopara railway station.
Accordingly, the officials laid a trap police and arrested three men Raju Shah (19), Avinash Dubey (19) and Manish Mishra (19) on Tuesday. All three were Pandey's neighbours and friends. Further investigation revealed that Amarjeet Sharma, a resident of Malad, had hatched the plot. He was arrested yesterday.
The trio told police officials that they were unemployed and were in desperate need of money. They said when they were drinking with Pandey in February, he told them that he had property worth lakhs in Uttar Pradesh. They then told Amardeep, a small-time robber, about Pandey's property and hatched the plot to kidnap Deep. A police official said, "During interrogation, the trio told us that fearing arrest they abandoned the kid at Pen railway station on March 4. They then kept an eye on Pandey's movements, and on learning that the coast was clear, made the ransom call."
Senior police inspector of the Nallasopara police station Mukund Mahajan said the biggest challenge for the officials was to find and rescue the kid. "We started inquiring with the locals about the kid by showing them his photograph. We discovered that Deep was spotted wandering around the railway station and that someone had taken him to an orphanage managed by Vatsalya Trust in Alibaug. We went to Alibaug and found Deep at the orphanage." Deep was reunited with his parents yesterday.