Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 3.39 AM IST

Kidnapped child to avoid forfeiture, reveals Padmakumar; started searching for children one and half months ago


KOLLAM: Have assets worth Rs 6 crore assets. A debt of Rs 5 crores in banks after real estate crashed. Need to pay Rs 10 lakhs immediately to avoid forfeiture. Asked several people for money, but to no avail. With this, Padmakumar, his wife Anitha and daughter Anupama, a YouTuber, decided to make their lives safe by kidnapping children and taking the ransom money. ADGP Ajith Kumar said that the abducted child's father was not involved in the incident.

Padmakumar first thought about kidnapping children for ransom a year ago when his financial burden became severe. However, he abandoned the plan back then after his mother strongly opposed it. The mother came to know about this after she saw fake number plates at home. She died last June. After that, Padmakumar received a warning from the bank saying that his house would be forfeited if he did not pay Rs 10 lakh immediately. Anupama's income from YouTube had also stopped by then.

Padmakumar and his family started the search for children a month and a half ago. They found the six-year-old girl from Oyoor a week and a half ago. Before kidnapping the child on Monday, they had made two other unsuccessful kidnap attempts. The first attempt failed as the child was accompanied by her mother. The second attempt also failed as the grandmother was with the child when she returned from tuition. It was the third attempt that became successful. They firmly clamped the girl's mouth shut when she made noise in the car. The girl later calmed down after they gave her a sedative.

After taking the child to the house in Mampallikunnam, Padmakumar and Anithakumari went to Parippally by car. From there, they got into an autorickshaw and reached Kizhakkanela. They then borrowed the phone of the wife of a hotel owner, called the girl's mother and demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakhs. Upon returning home, they realised that they would be caught by the police. With that, they decided to leave the child on the Ashramam grounds.

Voice clip and laptop

  • Anithakumari had earlier sent a voice message to a woman asking for a loan of 10 lakhs. The woman, who received this message, forwarded it to Kannanallur native Abdul Samad. Samad felt that Anithakumari's sound was similar to the sound of the woman who sought ransom from the child's mother. He then handed over the voice message to Ayiroor CI. The CI then sent the voice message to the investigation team. Following this, the police started monitoring Anitha's phone.
  • The description given by the six-year-old girl and her brother about the accused was accurate. As a result, the police were able to prepare a clear sketch. Local residents informed the police that Padmakumar resembled the man in the sketch.
  • Padmakumar's phone was located within the limits of the mobile tower in Ashramam at the time when the child was abandoned. Police also collected cyber ​​information centred on Anupama showing the child Tom and Jerry on her laptop

Accused remanded

Kottarakkara Magistrate Court on Saturday remanded Padmakumar (52), his wife MR Anithakumari (45) and daughter P. Anupama (20) for 14 days. Padmakumar was shifted to Poojappura Central Jail, whereas his wife and daughter were shifted to Attakulangara Women's Jail. The accused, who were brought to the Adoor Battalion camp from Tenkasi, were questioned in detail on Friday. Their arrest was recorded after taking them to Pooyapally station.

Mismatches in what police say

Meanwhile, the argument that the revelations of the police in the abduction case are not believable is becoming strong. Suspicion stems from the fact that just three were directly connected to the case, and the letter extended to the girl's brother contained the gang's phone number. The girl's brother had told the police that the gang had held out a letter to him asking him to give it to his mother.

The explanation of the police is as follows:

The paper contained the phone number in which the accused could be contacted. 'Your daughter is safe. We have an urgent requirement of Rs 10 lakh. If you give it, we will release the child,' the letter read. The gang tried to hand over the letter to the boy while abducting his sister. The paper fell inside the car during the ruckus. After reaching home, the accused burnt this paper.

According to the police, the phone number mentioned on the board of Padmakumar's bakery in Chathannoor was written on the paper. Will a gang that hatched a plan without any loopholes do a foolish thing by writing down the number of their bakery on the letter? Wouldn't they know that they will get caught soon after the child's family hands over the letter to the police? These are some of the questions being raised. At many places, some bikes were seen moving suspiciously along with the car in which the gang travelled. Yet, the police are claiming that only three were directly involved in the case.

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