KARACHI: A five-year-old boy who was kidnapped from Defence Housing Authority on Wednesday afternoon in the presence of his mother was released in the early hours of Thursday after the criminals received ransom money from his family, according to police and Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) officials.
Mohammad Abban Ghufran was kidnapped from DHA Phase-8 near an academic institution while returning from school with his mother on Wednesday, said CPLC chief Zubair Habib.
He told Dawn that two masked men in a white car intercepted the vehicle in which the boy and his mother were travelling and after snatching valuables from the woman they took the boy away with them forcibly. Shortly after the boy’s family received a call from the kidnappers who demanded a ransom of Rs150 million for his release, he said, adding that after negotiations with the family the kidnappers had agreed to take Rs300,000.
He said after receiving the ransom money the kidnappers had left the boy at Askari petrol pump near Jauhar Chowrangi.
Kidnappers said to be ‘educated’ individuals
Soon after the kidnapping of the boy, the Sindh governor taking notice of the incident directed the CPLC and law enforcement agencies to take action for his early recovery.
Mr Habib said soon after receiving information about the kidnapping a joint team of Rangers, police’s Anti-Violent Crime Cell and the CPLC launched investigation into the incident.
He believed that it was the pressure of the officials’ prompt action that the kidnappers had agreed for negotiations with the affected family.
The CPLC chief said that in the cases of children’s kidnapping the priority of his organisation was safe recovery of abductees, adding that the payment of a “small amount of ransom money does not matter much”.
Talking to Dawn, Crime Investigation Agency DIG Saqib Ismail Memon agreed with the views of the CPLC chief, saying that in the cases of kidnapping the priority of officials was safe recovery of victims.
He claimed that the kidnappers of the boy were educated people. “The case is not closed,” he said, adding that the police had got some leads and they were working on it to arrest the kidnappers.
Answering a question, the CPLC chief said the cases of kidnapping in Karachi had declined sharply. Three years ago, he added, around 200 people were kidnapped annually in the metropolis. He recalled that before the launch of Karachi operation, a total of 174 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported in Karachi in 2013. This year eight to nine cases of kidnappings had been reported so far.
He said all law-enforcement agencies now worked in coordination against criminals.
Suspect shot dead
A suspected robber was shot dead during an ‘encounter’ with police personnel on Thursday morning, an official of the Ferozabad police said.
He said three robbers barged into a house in PECHS Block-2 near Tariq Road and after taking people in it hostage at gunpoint they started looting valuables.
In the meantime, police’s Madadgar-15 received information from someone in the neighbourhood about the robbery.
Karachi East SSP Dr Samiullah Soomro said that within minutes a team of Madadgar-15 had reached the affected house.
He said after noticing that police personnel were outside the house the robbers opened fire on them and tried to escape. The personnel returned fire and during the exchange of fire one of the robbers was killed and two others managed to escape.
The deceased was identified as Imran Solangi. The police have found a mobile phone and a pistol with his body.
SSP Soomro said the two robbers had taken away some gold jewellery from the house.
He said with the help of the seized mobile phone the police would soon arrest the other two robbers.
Security situation reviewed
A meeting presided over by Director General of Sindh Rangers Maj Gen Mohammed Saeed at the Rangers headquarters on Thursday reviewed the law and order situation in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, in the wake of the recent wave of terrorism incidents in the country, according to a spokesperson for the Rangers.
He said senior officials of police and the paramilitary force attended the meeting.
The spokesperson said the DG Rangers had stressed the need for further improving the security of all sensitive installations and important places.
It was decided in the meeting that coordination between different law-enforcement agencies would be improved and joint operations would be conducted.
Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2017