Dramatic scenes unfolded in an east Delhi neighbourhood on Tuesday after a brave mother fought off the two would-be kidnappers of her four-year-old daughter.
If that weren’t dramatic enough, two neighbours showed courage and presence of mind to force the kidnappers to abandon their motorcycle, which the police used to track down and arrest the two men who planned the attempted abduction.
The vile act, police said, was orchestrated by the child’s uncle, who was jealous of his brother (the child’s father is a successful cloth merchant) and wanted to ransom his niece for Rs 35 lakh.
The two who carried out the failed kidnapping are still on the run.
According to police the two drove up to the child’s house at around 4 PM on a black Pulsar. One of them, dressed in a blue shirt and carrying a red backpack, asked the mother for some water and, while she was distracted, grabbed the young girl and tried to escape.
The events that followed played out over two 30-second videos that seem to be from CCTV cameras.
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In the first, the man in blue comes running out of the house dragging the child, whose frightened screams can be heard. As he bundles the child over the motorcycle, the mother explodes out of the house and, with no thought to her safety, rams into the bike and kidnappers, causing them to fall.
She grabs her daughter and, heroically, clutches her tightly with one hand while holding on to the bike with the other, for a while, to prevent the second kidnapper from riding away!
The first kidnapper, thrown off by her ferocious charge seconds ago, was already trying to run away down the narrow gully.
By now neighbours had been alerted and one man, further down the gully, responded by positioning his bike – a Scooty – to block the exit. He then pushed the bike-borne kidnapper to one side before grabbing the other with the help of a second man.
The kidnappers escaped, but left behind the backpack and bike.
Delhi Police found that the registration number of the bike was fake, but still managed to track its owner – Dheeraj, a resident of Jagat Puri.
He confessed that the child’s uncle, Upendra (alias Bittu) was the mastermind. Dheeraj told the cops he had been promised Rs 1 lakh for his role.
The police also found four cartridges and a country-made gun from the backpack.