‘Not a kidnap attempt, operation planned by four inmates’

The Poojappura police, based on investigations so far, on Tuesday said that the incident at the Nirbhaya Shelter Home on Monday was an escape attempt by the residents, and not a kidnap attempt.

R. Rajesh, Sub-Inspector, Poojappura, said the ‘operation’ was planned by four girls, with three of them actively taking part in it while one was a ‘silent partner’. Based on statements taken from the four on Tuesday, and after interacting with the other residents and staff of the home, the police found that the girls had planned the escape, noting the timings at which the wardens would leave their room for late night inspections and had locked the wardens in before they could come out for their usual inspection at 2 a.m.

“Their plan was to lock the wardens in after stealing the keys to the grilled door at the main exit and a mobile phone from one of the wardens. They managed to lock them in and to get a mobile phone but apparently forgot to take the keys. We found out that after cutting the wires of the landline there, they used the stolen mobile phone to call up three persons, whom we believe were their acquaintances before they reached the shelter home, to help them escape. One of these men was out of coverage area, while one had his phone switched off. Another one answered their call but cut it off as soon as he realised who was calling and then switched off his phone,” Mr. Rajesh said.

As for reports that help was sought from an aide of notorious gangster Shobha John, an acquaintance of one of the four girls, the police said a call was made to his mobile phone, which was switched off and that he was released on bail only by 6 p.m. on Monday.

The incident took place around 2 a.m. on Monday. Information available so far indicated that chances of his involvement were little, the police said. The police, while continuing with the investigation, have decided to enhance bike patrolling in the area.