In a heart-stopping turn of events, a father’s worst nightmare unfolded on Sunday when Deepak Kumar Gupta, a 49-year-old Naigaon resident, received a chilling call from kidnappers claiming to have his 17-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son in their custody. The demand was clear – a ransom of Rs10 lakh, with a spine-chilling twist. The kidnapper asserted that bombs were tied to the children’s stomachs, complete with a claim of holding the remote control. The stakes were high, and Gupta, who runs a modest footwear shop, found himself thrust into a nightmare scenario.

Immediately reacting to the situation, Gupta promptly reached out to the local authorities, alerting the police about the abduction and the ominous threat he had received at around 8 pm on that fateful evening. The demand for the ransom came from different phone numbers, intensifying the urgency of the situation.

Responding to the distress call, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II) Pournima Chougule Shringi and Assistant Commissioner of Police Padmaja Bade sprang into action. In addition to activating their extensive network of informers and leveraging electronic surveillance systems, the police force swiftly deployed three teams to cover the entire area, determined to bring the abducted children back home safely.

The breakthrough in the case came when one of the teams received a crucial tip. Acting on this information, they successfully rescued both children who were found confined in a tenement in the Meenakshi Nagar area of Kashimira around 10 pm. The relief was palpable, but the operation was far from over.

It took another five hours for the dedicated police teams to track down the kidnappers, Jaiprakash Gangaram Gupta (alias Sonu), aged 23, and Vipul Shashikant Tiwari, aged 20. Both hailed from Kashigaon in Mira Road. The apprehension occurred in the Madhuban area of Vasai East at approximately 1 am. Notably, the pursuit was not without its challenges, as one of the police personnel, Ashok Patil, sustained injuries while chasing the desperate kidnappers, who attempted to flee upon spotting the approaching law enforcement team.

Describing the operation, a senior police officer revealed, “The entire operation was swiftly conducted confidentially by our personnel who had to dress up in various attires to avoid being spotted by the kidnappers and mingle with people to get clues about the children and the kidnappers from some of the locations which were suspected hideouts.”

The subsequent legal proceedings saw both kidnappers, Jaiprakash Gangaram Gupta and Vipul Shashikant Tiwari, facing charges under sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 364(a) (kidnapping for ransom), 387 (putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, to commit extortion), 342 (wrongfully confining any person shall be punished with simple imprisonment), and 120 (b) (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. They were remanded to police custody until December 29 after their appearance in court on Monday.

However, the story doesn’t conclude with the arrests. The investigation is now delving into the motive behind the crime. Authorities are working diligently to determine whether the ransom was the sole driving factor or if other motivations played a role. This aspect gains significance given that the complainant, Deepak Kumar Gupta, comes from a humble background, adding layers of complexity to the unfolding events.

Assigned as the investigation officer in the case, Assistant Police Inspector Vinod Wagh is spearheading efforts to unveil the intricacies surrounding the abduction and ensure that justice prevails.

In the wake of this harrowing incident, the local community is left grappling with the shockwaves, while law enforcement continues to unravel the details of a crime that sent shockwaves through the otherwise peaceful neighborhood. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of swift and effective police response in ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals in the face of such heinous acts. The community, having witnessed the diligence of law enforcement in this case, finds solace in the fact that justice is being pursued with unwavering determination.