LKG student was abducted by stranger who came to pick him up at Chettinad Vidyashram

The city police blamed Thursday’s kidnap of a four-year-old boy from his school premises on the educational institution.

Accusing Chettinad Vidyashram in R.A. Puram of negligence, the police said the school should not have let the LKG student go with a stranger. The accused had a past history of crime, the police said.

On Saturday, the police issued an advisory to all city schools urging them to put in place a foolproof system to keep track of persons who drop and pick up children from their institutions.

The kidnapping of H. Suriya, son of an Ennore Port employee, sent shock waves among the city’s residents, especially parents with young children in school. The boy was rescued within hours after his father Hariharan paid ransom in gold jewellery.

The boy’s abductors, including Prabhu, Suriya’s van driver in the mornings, and his accomplices Senthil, Chandru, Subash, all from north Chennai, and Kathiravan from Salem, devised the kidnapping as a fast solution for their financial crises.

The men chose Suriya as the boy is chirpy and friendly with people.

On Thursday, Kathiravan went to the school around 11.45 a.m. and picked up the boy with hardly any resistance from Suriya’s teachers even though he was a stranger to them.

Kathiravan is suspected to be involved in kidnapping cases in Dharmapuri and adjoining areas. He came to Chennai last month to meet his friends, Prabhu and the others.

“It was grave negligence on the part of the school authorities to let the boy leave with a total stranger. We questioned the school authorities and the van owner as part of our probe and action will be taken if necessary,” said K. Shankar, joint commissioner of police, east, on Saturday.

School authorities should ensure children are sent with authorised personnel and check the antecedents of van drivers, the police said. “We are advising all schools to exercise caution in the matter. In case of any negligence in the future, the school authorities will be held responsible,” Mr. Shankar said.

A sum of Rs. 1.35 lakh, gold jewellery, a mobile phone and two motorcycles used by the abductors were seized. The four men were remanded to custody on Saturday evening and lodged in Puzhal prison.

A hunt is on for Kathiravan who fled after his accomplices were nabbed by the police.

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