The Kerala Police, which recorded the arrest of three members of a family in the Kollam child abduction case on Saturday, said that the crime was committed after a year of planning.
Those arrested have been identified as engineer-turned-businessman K.R.Padmakumar (52), his wife M.R. Anitha Kumari (45) and their 20-year-old daughter P. Anupama.
ADG of Police, M.R. Ajithkumar who has been leading the entire investigation, after bringing the three accused to the local police station at Pooyapalli in Kollam district, informed the media that so far, there are three accused and all of them have been arrested.
“Padmakumar is a Computer Science engineer and is into business. Since Covid, he has been finding it tough and even though he has assets more than Rs 5 crore, he is presently in debt to the tune of Rs 5 crore,” said Ajithkumar.
“He said after seeing many people around him making money on the sly, he also decided to make money by whatever means. The entire family was planning for a year and in between they dropped the idea, but 45 days back the need to raise money surfaced and the planning started again,” added the top police official.
“They said to execute this, they have been driving around and a week back before the actual crime, they noticed the six- year-old and her brother walking on the road.
For a few days they observed and on two occasions they failed as the kids were accompanied by others. But on Monday, they did it, but the 10-year-old boy put up a strong resistance,” said Ajithkumar.
“They were carrying a piece of paper with a mobile number and a demand for Rs 10 lakh as ransom for the safe return of the child. But with the resistance put up by the boy, the paper fell inside the vehicle itself and their plan went haywire,” said Ajithkumar.
“Anupama, the couple’s daughter, was with the girl for an hour or more when the couple went out to make a telephone call to her parents. It was Anithakumari who took the mobile of the lady shopkeeper and called the girl’s parents asking for the ransom money. Anupama is a drop out student in BSc Computer science, but she is a social media star. She used to make a monthly sum of around Rs 3 to 5 lakhs a month, but after July this year, her account was blocked and hence the need for money again was on a high. Anithakumari took the girl in an auto rickshaw and dropped on Tuesday at the ground in Kollam,” said Ajithkumar.
He ruled out unfounded social media talks that the kidnapped girl’s father might have a role. “Reji (the girl’s father) has no role at all in this case. At the moment there are only these three accused and we will continue the probe,” he said.
Around 1.30 p.m. on Friday, the Kerala Police tracked down the suspects near Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu and took them into its custody.
They were then brought to a police camp in Adoor and following a detailed questioning, their arrest was recorded this morning.
The girl, along with her ten-year-old brother, was returning from a tuition centre on November 27, when she was kidnapped. Next day, she was left on the ground. After two days of being under medical observation, the child was taken to a magistrate where her statement was recorded before being sent home.