The Kerala Police on Tuesday found the six-year-old girl who was abducted from Pooyappally just a day earlier. Police and local body officials confirmed the good news that the child has been found and that she has been taken for medical examination.
Visuals on TV channels showed police officials carrying the child in their arms to their vehicles and taking her away for a medical examination. Information about the child being abandoned in Kollam's Asramam ground was received while police were desperately searching for the girl.
Earlier in the day, while state ministers expressed confidence in the police investigation, the youth wing of Congress held a silent protest outside the Pooyappally police station over the delay in rescue of the girl and also indicating their dissatisfaction with the investigation.
The police had said that it was exploring all angles to locate the missing child and had also released a sketch of the suspected kidnapper. The kidnappers, suspected to be four in number including a woman, came in a white car and abducted the girl when she was on her way to tuition classes along with her eight-year-old brother, according to the boy's statement to the police.
When the boy tried to stop the abductors, they pushed him aside and whisked the girl away in the car, an officer from the Pooyappally police station had said on Monday. The boy suffered injuries to his knees while trying to save his sister, police had said.
The incident occurred on Monday between 4 pm and 4.30 pm, according to the police. According to visuals shown on television news channels, two ransom calls were allegedly made by the kidnappers. Initially, they demanded Rs 5 lakh and then later doubled the figure.
In the audio recording of the purported second ransom call shown on TV channels, the kidnappers could be heard saying that the girl is safe and unharmed and will be returned on Tuesday morning on a payment of Rs 10 lakh. The kidnappers had also warned the parents not to inform the police.
Prior to that, a ransom call demanding Rs 5 lakh was received by the parents a few hours after the kidnapping. Police had intensified the search for the girl, with vehicles being checked on all major and minor roads in the southern districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram.
Visuals showed police officers checking vehicles, especially white-coloured ones, on the roads. The parents of the children are nurses working in two separate private hospitals.
(With PTI Inputs)