M A I N   N E W S

Kidnapped child restored to family
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 17
The local community did what the Punjab police was unable to do for the last two days. Watchful employees of the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) and residents of Hussainpur village helped restore two-and-half-year-old kidnapped child, Sehajpreet, to his parents, hailing from Baba Bakala.

The child who was allegedly picked by few car-borne kidnappers on June 15 was found lying at the entrance of RCF from the cycle stand side by two employees, Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mr Narinderjit Singh, both artisans, while they were going for a walk in the wee hours to procure milk from a nearby dairy today.

When they reached the RCF gates at 5.30 am, they saw a child lying asleep amidst the cycles. The shocked employees looked around for the parents, but did not find any claimant. They sat by the side of the entrance, asking each passerby about the child’s whereabouts, but could not gather any information.

Slowly, more and more people gathered around the place. They even took the child to a gurdwara on the RCF campus to ask some early risers about the child, but to no avail. They even made an announcement in this regard through the public address system at the gurdwara.

Mr Kuldeep Singh said, “At that time, we thought that the child must be of some family from the RCF. We could not imagine that some kidnappers could abandon a child like that near the campus gates as there is security at all entry points.”

Eventually, by 8 am, a lot of people got to know about the abandoned child. Then some residents pointed out that they had read about a child kidnapping case in Baba Bakala and it could be the same child as the newspapers had indicated that the child was of that age.

The residents called up their relatives and friends at Baba Bakala to inquire about the child’s parents. After trying here and there, they managed to contact the mother, Ms Nirmaljit Kaur, who said that she would reach the place soon. Meanwhile, some residents had contacted the Railway police as well as the SHO of Sadar police station.

The mother reached the place at about 9:45 am with her brother and was happy to find that it was indeed Sehajpreet, her kidnapped child, who was safe, though he seemed a bit intoxicated.

An interesting fact is that the child was kidnapped while he had gone to buy milk with his 10-year-old sister Prabhjot, and was also found by people who were going to get milk.

Unable to control her emotions, Ms Nirmaljit Kaur was thankful to everyone who had helped her trace her child.

While all this was happening, the Punjab police personnel who had declared a red alert in all nearby districts for the past two days seemed to be mute spectators. Soon the Majitha police also arrived and took the child and the family to Baba Bakala to complete the legal formalities.

BABA BAKALA: Mr Hardish Singh Randhawa, Deputy Inspector-General, Punjab police, while talking to mediapersons here today said RCF employee Lakhwinder Singh’s family informed the Kapurthala police about Sehajpreet. After taking the boy in its custody, the Kapurthala police informed the SSP of Majitha.

Mr Randhawa said the police along with the child’s mother went to Kapurthala and after identifying the boy came back to Baba Bakala. He said the boy was too young for them to extract any details from him.

He said that police was investigating the case and was working on various aspects of the abduction. He said extortion could not be the motive behind the abduction as the family was very poor.

He said it was due to the joint efforts of Jalandhar and Amritsar police that the pressure was built on the abductors who later abandoned the boy near the RCF.

Ms Vibhu Raj, SSP, Majitha police, was thankful to the media and the general public and said that it was due to their cooperation that the boy could be traced within two days.

Ms Nirmaljit Kaur, the mother had no words to express herself. She was thankful to the Almighty and the police.

Nine-year-old Prabhjot Kaur, sister of the boy, who had tried to save her brother from the kidnappers, was happy to be united with her brother.

The villagers who had gathered there and were with the family in their time of grief for the past two days were happy to hear the news. Later, the family along with villagers went to the Gurdwara to offer prayers of thanks.

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