BENGALURU: A curious neighbour’s response to a WhatsApp message helped crack a child trafficking case and reunited a three-year-old boy with his parents on Friday. The boy had gone missing on March 5 from Vaniyambadi in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu and was rescued from Bengaluru
Police arrested two people - Mohammed Afzal (25) and his relative Naseema Niza (22) - both residents of Melvisharam in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu.
A police official in Vaniyambadi police station said, “On March 5, around 6pm Tanvir was standing at a shop near his house when Afzal and Niza lured him with chocolates and kidnapped him. The duo had brought the child to Bengaluru and sold him to Ishadullah, a resident of Venkatesh Nagar, for `25,000.”
Cracking the case
Tanvir’s parents Jalaluddin and Jahira filed a police complaint on the same day. Rajasekaran, inspector of Vaniyambadi police station, said, “Soon after the complaint was filed, we started circulating the boy’s photo and his details on social media and WhatsApp. Azeez, a native of Vaniyambadi who lives in Venkatesh Nagar, received a forwarded message from his friends of the missing child on WhatsApp. He identified the child as the one who lived with his neighbour Ishadullah.”
He further said, “Out of suspicion, Azeez visited Ishadullah at his house and confirmed that the child matched the photo that he had received. Azeez told Ishadullah about the missing child complaint filed in Vaniyambadi police station and they took the child to K G Halli police station. K G Halli police informed us and we rushed to Bengaluru early on Friday along with child’s family members.”
Rajasekaran added that Ishadullah and Azeez were taken to Vaniyambadi for further investigations. “Ishadullah told us that Afzal had sold him the child. Police then arrested Afzal and Naseema from Melvisharam on Friday.”
During questioning, Afzal told police he had kidnapped the boy for his sister, Nazira Bhanu, who did not have children. But she refused to adopt the child saying he was not good looking. Afzal and Naseema then contacted Ishadullah, also a native of Melvisharam, and gave him the child, police said. Ishadullah and his wife did not have children even after years of marriage, said police.
Police are continuing investigation as they have suspicions regarding Afzal’s statement.