A suspect in a case of child kidnapping, who fled from police custody more than two months ago, was arrested in Washermenpet on Tuesday after he came to pick up his clothes from his dhobi. He is suspected to have been involved in a few kidnap cases of children in the city.
Police sources said, the suspect Kumarapandian (28), a native of Vilamboor village in Seyyur, Kancheepuram, was arrested on March 27 in connection with the kidnap of a two-and-a half-year-old Motishwaran.
The boy was playing outside his house in Tiruvottiyur High Road, Tondiarpet, on the afternoon of March 26 when he went missing. Following a complaint lodged by his father Srinivasan, who is a TANGEDCO employee, Tondiarpet police registered a case and launched a hunt for the child.
Around 3 a.m. the next day, an inebriated man, later identified as Kumarapandian, was found inside the Broadway bus terminus with Motishwaran. A patrol team apprehended the suspect and reunited the boy with his family, sources added.
Suspecting Kumarapandian's involvement in more cases of child kidnapping, Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy ordered the Central Crime Branch to probe into the matter. On March 29, Kumarapandian was taken to the CCB's facility in the Thousand Lights police station and his fingerprints were taken as part of the investigations. But he managed to flee after climbing over the compound wall of the station.
A manhunt was launched to track him down and his photograph with details was sent to all police stations in the city. His family members and relatives were also questioned on his whereabouts but police could find no clues.
“We knew that Kumarapandian had given a bundle of clothes to a dhobi in N.N. Garden, Washermenpet before his arrest and we expected him to return to pick them up. So we requested the dhobi and local shopkeepers to alert us in case he came,” said T. Veerakumar, Inspector of Police, Washermenpet.
Kumarapandian, who had tonsured his head to avoid being identified, came to the dhobi on Tuesday afternoon to retrieve his clothes and was rounded-up by police who were alerted by the dhobi, the Inspector added.
Kumarapandian was arrested by Washermenpet police and remanded to judicial custody and sent to Puzhal prison. He will later be taken into police custody for questioning regarding several ‘child missing' cases that have been reported in the city, police sources said.