Less than 24 hours after the two-year-old daughter of a senior North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) official was abducted by a housemaid from Rohini here on Tuesday, the police rescued the toddler from a train in Bihar.

NDPL Enforcement Assessment Manager Manoj Kharbanda (32) and his wife Reema (29), who works part-time, were away at work when their domestic help Mamta (18) made off with the girl from their Sector 24 residence. “The maid walked out with my daughter Mishka around 4-30 p.m. when my father was watching television and bolted the door from outside. My mother Satyawanti, who works at a community centre, returned a few minutes later and enquired about Mishka. The two went to the maid's room upstairs in search of the girl and found that her belongings were missing. They then informed me and I reported the matter to the police,” said Mr. Kharbanda.

The maid was hired by the family on August 19 through a placement agency in Shakurpur.

During investigation, the Outer Delhi Police got a lead from a closed-circuit television camera footage at Rithala metro station which showed Mamta boarding the train with the girl. Further, the placement agency owner told the police that Mamta belonged to Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. The police got another clue at New Delhi railway station that hinted that the maid had boarded the Brahmaputra Mail to her native place.

“In view of the gravity of the situation, senior police officers in Patna and Jalpaiguri were contacted over phone and more than two dozen teams were formed to rescue the girl. Eventually, we took special orders to detain the train on the outskirts of Patna and the local police team along with the railway police carried out coach-to-coach searches to rescue the girl,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) B. S. Jaiswal, who was himself monitoring the investigation.

Mr. Kharbanda, who was elated to hear the news, said: “Contrary to the image of the police painted by the media, we found them very helpful. It was only because of prompt action and tireless efforts on the part of the police, especially Mr. Jaiswal, that my daughter could be rescued. We will be flying to Patna on Thursday morning along with the Delhi Police team to bring her back.”

Not ruling out the involvement of others besides the maid, the police said the motive behind the crime could be ascertained only after the interrogation of the accused.