Mumbai police rescue Karnit Shah from Allahabad; 5 held

Karnit Shah, the six-year-old boy who was kidnapped on April 6 near his residence and whose rescue campaign spilled on to social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter, was rescued from Handia village in Allahabad by the Mumbai police and brought here on Wednesday.

On the basis of interrogation, police released a sketch of Samir Khan, a worker at a cake shop near Karnit's residence, and arrested Khan and Sohan Gupta, owner of the cake shop, their two accomplices, Sandeep Wagire and Shankar Salve, and the main accused, Surjit Bhid, from Handia.

Khan is said to have befriended children in the locality by giving them sweets and chocolates.

Karnit was rescued with the assistance of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force and the local police and informers. He was handed over to his parents at the ceremonial lounge of the airport, where the Mumbai Commissioner of Police, Arup Patnaik, conducted a press conference.

Very special guest

“Generally, it is the Prime Minister or the President who arrive at the ceremonial lounge. But Karnit is also a very special guest today and so we decided to welcome him here,” Mr. Patnaik said.

The police admitted that they were lucky in rescuing Karnit alive. “Had we been late, there would have been serious consequences,” Mr. Patnaik said.

“I would specially like to thank the U.P. STF and the local police there for their support. There were hardly any clues. Raids were carried out with the help of local informers,” Mr. Patnaik said.

There was no communication from the kidnappers for nearly 10 days. They called up the family members on April 16 demanding a ransom of Rs. 1 crore, police said.

Investigation under way

The police refused to answer any questions about the kidnappers or their antecedents. “Investigation is under progress,” Mr Patnaik said.