Pathanamthitta: The police have arrested a youth for abducting his teen cousin from his house in Manjanikkara in the district. Prompt action by the cops helped rescue the boy from Perumbavoor, about 125 km away, around 1 am Saturday. The police have also arrested a four-member gang from Karnataka who helped the youth in the crime.
The Plus Two student, who was bundled into a car and taken away, sustained injuries all over his body, obviously in brutal thrashing.
The police stated Avinash, 24, son of the abducted teen's maternal aunt, staged the crime because the family refused to oblige him with Rs 25 lakh that he had demanded. Avinash and his hirelinks had broke into the boy's house around 9.45 pm on Friday.
He and his grandma were the only ones at home as his parents were away in Bengaluru for business purposes.
Avinash had stayed with the teen cousin's home in Manjanikkara for long during his own student days. He had been there with his parents last week and had demanded Rs 25 lakh, which was refused. The kidnap is reported to be an act of revenge, but is yet to be confirmed.
Avinash asked for the boy's parents as he arrived at the Manjanikkara house with his gang late Friday. Unable to find them, a furious Avinash assaulted the boy, tied him up and forced him into the car's boot. The grandma was attacked as she tried to resist the crime. Her gold chain was snatched and the house was ransacked.
The house is located about 50 metres from the main road. The cars in which Avinash and his gang arrived were parked by the roadside. The boy was dragged all the way there. He was then stripped off his lungi which was used to tie him up. The gang left in two cars.
Local people, who had rushed to the house on hearing the grandma's loud cry, called the police in. They arrived by about 11 pm, and alerted all police stations. The police found the boy tied up and unconscious in the boot of one of the cars. He has injuries to his nose and bruises from assault all over his body. The police deserve kudos for their swift action, which helped track the student and the gang the very same night.
Perumbavoor Sub Inspector P A Faisal said assault weapons like sword and cycle chain were recovered from the gang's cars. Circle Inspector G. Sunil Kumar said more suspects are being sought. Finger prints and photos of those in custody will be passed on to Karnataka police to find out if the arrested are regular offenders.
Avinash had close links to Karnataka, where he was living until he completed his SSLC. He moved to the Manjanikkara house for further studies and later after he got a job.
The boy's father had gifted Avinash an autorickshaw after he completed studies, and later arranged him a job abroad. However, he went away to a relative's house in Chayalod, Adoor, and returned to Manjanikkara only last week after several years. That was when he demanded the large sum and a confrontation ensued as his demand was refused.
Avinash's father was also reportedly in the gang, but managed to avoid arrest. The arrested gang members came from Chikmagalur in Karnataka and have been identified as Premadas, 31, Haneefa, 33, Chandrasekhar, 22 and Alex John, 35.