The network of CCTV cameras proved helpful in the rescue of a six-month-old child within seven hours of his abduction from a hospital in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior police officer said today.
The woman who allegedly kidnapped the child was also arrested during the rescue operation led by Senior Superintendent of Police (Kishtwar) Shafqat Hussain Bhat.
The baby of Farmeen Ahmad was abducted by a burqa-clad woman from the district hospital Kishtwar yesterday afternoon but was recovered within hours from Gudhali chowk.
As the SSP flanked by junior officers walked with the rescued child in his hands to reunite him with his family, the locals poured onto the roads to celebrate the prompt and successful operation.
"This was the first of its kind unfortunate incident in the district and we received the information around 11.30 am on Tuesday," Mr Bhat told reporters in Kishtwar.
"Police immediately swung into action and all the checkpoints were alerted with special teams constituted and fanned out in different directions for the rescue of the abducted child," he said.
He, however, admitted that it was the network of CCTV cameras that proved helpful in tracing the abductor and subsequent recovery of the baby.
"All our official (CCTV) cameras installed in the town are functional round-the-clock. Cameras have become an essential part of the investigations," he said, requesting the locals to install CCTV cameras at their places or repair those which have developed faults.
The officer said, "We need to stay alert to frustrate the evil designs of anti-national and anti-social elements whose activities can prove harmful to communal harmony. Cameras are needed to keep a watch and for immediate action to stop such types of activities."
Identifying the culprit as a local woman Shabnam Begum, the SSP said she befriended the child's mother at the hospital where she had gone for treatment and after winning her trust she offered her help by holding the child till the mother returned with the registration slip.
"As she saw the child's mother joining the queue for the registration slip, she left with the child within a minute and took narrow lanes to escape the scene," Mr Bhat said.
"We were lucky that even these lanes are covered with CCTV cameras," he said, adding the hiding place of the woman was one km away from the hospital.
He said the accused, who herself is a mother, was earlier married to a terrorist in Gandoh area of Doda but after his killing in an encounter remarried in Banihal area of Ramban district but later got a divorce from her second husband.
"She mostly lives in Kishtwar, Jammu, and reportedly also visits Kashmir. As per the preliminary investigation, she was reportedly planning to take the child to Kashmir. The motive behind her crime is under investigation," Mr Bhat said.
Asking people not to panic following the incident, he said police are fully alert and are keeping a close watch on the criminal activities.
"There is one more suspicious character lady who was not arrested...we have received calls from police stations across J&K after solving this case. She might have the knowledge about the other lady and we are investigating," he said.
Some more suspected people, related to the arrested woman, were called for questioning, the officer said.
Asked about the influx of outsiders in Kishtwar, the SSP said they are keeping a close watch on all such people, and those who do not possess proper identification are being sent back.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)