A top police official said today that the network of CCTV cameras helped in the seven-hour recovery of a six-month-old baby who had been kidnapped from a hospital in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district.
During the search and rescue operation directed by Senior Superintendent of Police (Kishtwar) Shafqat Hussain Bhat, the lady accused of kidnapping the child, was also detained.
A lady wearing a burqa kidnapped Farmeen Ahmad’s infant yesterday afternoon from the district hospital in Kishtwar, but it was found hours later near Gudhali Chowk.
As the SSP flanked by junior officers walked with the rescued child in his hands to reunite him with his family, the locals poured onto the roads to celebrate the prompt and successful operation.
“This was the first of its kind unfortunate incident in the district, and we received the information around 11.30 am on Tuesday,” Mr. Bhat told reporters in Kishtwar.
“Police immediately swung into action, and all the checkpoints were alerted with special teams constituted and fanned out in different directions for the rescue of the abducted child,” he said.
He, however, admitted that the network of CCTV cameras proved helpful in tracing the abductor and subsequent recovery of the baby.
“All our official (CCTV) cameras installed in the town are functional round-the-clock. Cameras have become an essential part of the investigations,” he said, requesting the locals to install CCTV cameras at their places or repair those which have developed faults.
The officer said, “We need to stay alert to frustrate the evil designs of anti-national and anti-social elements whose activities can prove harmful to communal harmony. Cameras are needed to keep a watch and for immediate action to stop such activities.”
Identifying the culprit as a local woman Shabnam Begum, the SSP said she befriended the child’s mother at the hospital where she had gone for treatment. After winning her trust, she offered her help by holding the child till the mother returned with the registration slip.
“She departed with the child within a minute and took tight alleyways to avoid the scene when she noticed the child’s mother approaching the queue for the registration paper,” Mr. Bhat claimed.
He said the woman’s hiding location was one kilometer from the hospital and remarked, “We were lucky that even these lanes are covered with CCTV cameras.
According to him, the accused, a mother herself, had a previous marriage to a terrorist in the Doda neighborhood of Gandoh; however, after the terrorist was killed in an encounter, she remarried in the Ramban district’s Banihal neighborhood and then filed for divorce from her second husband.
She allegedly visits Kashmir but primarily resides in Kishtwar, Jammu. She was allegedly going to take the preliminary investigations. The motive behind her crime is under investigation,” Mr. Bhat said.
Following the event, he urged residents not to worry and assured them that police were fully awake and closely monitoring any illegal activity.
“After solving this crime, we received inquiries from police stations around J&K about another questionable character lady who was not detained. She could know anything about the other woman, and we’re looking into it, “said he.
The officer said more suspects connected to the arrested lady had been summoned for interrogation.
When asked about the increase of strangers in Kishtwar, the SSP said that they are closely monitoring all such individuals, and those who lack valid identities are sent home.