Kerala on high alert after girl kidnapped from Kollam by unidentified people

The girl, who was on the way to a local tuition centre with her sibling, was allegedly picked up by a four-member gang that included a woman.

ByK A Shaji

Published Nov 28, 2023 | 1:08 AMUpdatedNov 28, 2023 | 12:40 PM

The abducted girl

For the first time in the recent history of Kerala, a little girl has been kidnapped in broad daylight. The incident took place in the Kollam district on the evening of Monday, 27 November.

The six-year-old girl, who was on the way to a local tuition centre with her sibling, was allegedly picked up by a four-member gang that included a woman.

The incident led to high alert being declared across the whole state, as no clues about her whereabouts surfaced even after about six hours of the kidnapping.

Also read: Kerala monitors non-native labourer camps after 5-year-old killed

Parents get ransom call

While the police are streamlining the investigation, the parents of the kidnapped girl received two separate calls for ransom, presumably from the same woman who took part in the abduction.

In the first call at around 7 pm, the vice on the other side claimed the child was safe in her custody, and demanded a ransom of ₹5 lakh for the kid’s release.

In the second call, around 10 pm, the ransom amount was increased to ₹10 lakh.

However, no information about the mode of transferring the money or the modalities of bringing back the kid was revealed through the calls.

According to police, the abducted girl has been identified as Abigel Sara Reji, the daughter of KP Reji, a native of Pooyappally at Oyoor near Kollam.

She was abducted by the car-borne gang at around 4.40 pm while she was walking towards a tuition centre located a little way away from her home with her eight-year-old brother.

Meanwhile, the police were said to have tracked the phone calls received by the parents to a shop at Parippally in Kollam.

According to reports, the abductors did not use their phone numbers. Unconfirmed reports indicated that the abductors ditched the car and left in an auto-rickshaw.

Also read: Newborn stolen from Vanivilas Hospital in Bengaluru

Details of the kidnapping

CCTV visuals showed that the abductors used a white Honda car to kidnap the girl.

The gang apparently told her brother to take a piece of paper from them to hand over to his mother. When he refused to accept it, they attempted to drag him into the car.

The boy used a stick he kept in his hands to beat them. Then the gang attempted to drag him through the road, and he managed to escape amidst the melee.

Her brother confirmed to the police and news outlets that the kidnappers tried to drag him into the vehicle.

After the boy moved out of the car, it moved fast from the scene. The brother said the three men and the woman in it were wearing masks and looked unfamiliar.

A local woman, who saw the boy being left behind by the car, took him back home and informed the family about the kidnapping.

A statewide search has been going on, and police have said that they received some vital clues about the gang.