Six families, including 16 children, who have been living on the pavement on Barnaby Road, Kilpauk, for the last 25 years are a grief-stricken lot. The youngest among the group, a three-month-old girl, who was asleep beside her twin sister and their mother, went missing in the early hours of Tuesday. The child’s family said she was kidnapped by an unidentified man seen in a share autorickshaw.
The families have been pavement-dwellers outside the Sri Padala Ponniamman Thirukkoil, intermittently, for the last 25 years and were making a living by doing menial jobs.
The children are often seen playing on the one-way road amidst danger of oncoming traffic . Many efforts by the police to evacuate them from the spot have failed.
“I was sleeping outside the temple with one child sleeping inside the mosquito net and the other sleeping outside, next to me. I noticed a share autorickshaw with a skinny man parked nearby for a long time. Around 3 a.m., I opened my eyes and found the girl next to me missing and the vehicle speeding away,” said Kalaiarasi, who finds it hard to move due to a C-section delivery of the twins.
Kalaiarasi raised an alarm and her family members and relatives, who were asleep on the road, started a search. However, they were unable to locate the vehicle.
They alerted the police who reached the spot and carried out preliminary investigations.
The twins were yet to be christened and the missing child was undergoing treatment after suffering dog-bites four days ago. “An injection was scheduled for her on this Friday but she is gone,” Lakshmi, the grandmother of the child, said tearfully.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kilpauk, K. Bhavaneeshwari said a ‘child missing’ case has been registered by the Kilpauk police .
“The infant’s mother failed to notice the details on the vehicle’s registration plate amidst the panic caused by the situation. We have launched a search for the child,” Ms. Bhavaneeshwari said.
The missing girl and her twin sister were born on March 23, 2012, to Kalaiarasi (23) and Mani (27), who work at a fast food joint.
Keywords: kidnapping incident