PUDUCHERRY: Four residents of Andhra Pradesh have been arrested by Puducherry police for using an abducted three-year-old girl to commit theft in buses. The child has been rescued.
While two women, both sisters Manju (34) and Lalitha (36) from Kuppam in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh were arrested on Oct 15, along with the child following a complaint of theft in New bus stand, a couple Durga and Jeeva from a village, 21 kilometres from Kuppam were arrested on November 9 for giving away the child on hire, whom they claim to have adopted .
The police while recovering the stolen money and jewellery from Manju and Lalitha in two cases of theft are now investigating to find the biological parents of the child, who is now in judicial custody (children home), said Orleanpet Inspector J Babuji.
The crime came to light following investigation in complaint lodged by Velvizhi , a conductor in the Puducherry State-owned Puducherry Road Transport Bus (PRTC) in Orleanpet police station. Velvizhi complained that two women with a child with whom she interacted in the bus stand, had stolen, ₹10,500 kept in her purse by distracting her. Acting fast, the Orleanpet police traced the two women and arrested them along with the child, whom they claimed to be theirs. Police recovered ₹10,000 from them as well as nine soverigns of gold jewellery stolen from a bus passenger a few days back.
After finding that the names and residential address at Athur given by them were false, the police traced their residence to Kuppam, Chittoor District of AP by sending teams to all the places they made calls from their mobile phones, said Babuji who is investigating case along with Sub Inspector Tamilarasan.
In the meantime while extending the remand, the child refused to go with the women, leading to suspicion. The Magistrate directed the police to inquire whether the accused was the mother of the child. Inquiries in the village of the two women revealed that the child was not born to either of the two women. On interrogation the two women said that that they got the child on ‘hire’ from a couple in Chittoor district as an investment in their business, said Babuji. The police went and met the couple Durga and Jeeva from whom the child was hired, but inquiries in village revealed that they were also not the biological parents of the child . The couple said that they have adopted the child, but they could not produce any adoption papers or birth certificate of the child or the names of the biological parents, said Babuji. Following this the couple were arrested and brought to Puducherry and remanded, he said.
Investigations so far has indicated that the child was used to distract the attention of commuters in the bus while committing theft, said Babuji. The theft benefits were shared by Manju and Lalitha with Durga and Jeeva. All the four have been booked under IPC 370(4) for child trafficking and IPC 379 for theft.
Further investigations are on in the case as well as to trace the biological parents of the girl, he said.