A FY BCom student in a Mulund college, Ganesh (name changed) called up his his uncle, Shivaji Shinde (name changed) from a dual SIM card using his friend’s phone.
Covering the phone’s speaker with a kerchief, Ganesh said his nephew had been kidnapped and demanded Rs25 lakh for his release. When Shinde demanded to speak to the boy, he removed the kerchief, started crying and pleaded to save his life. “Ganesh was crying and he could only say that he had been kidnapped. The caller disconnected the phone,” said Shinde.
Shinde, an autorickshaw driver, has been taking care of Ganesh after his parents’ death a decade ago.
“When the police tried calling the number, it was switched off. The police suspected something amiss and kept tracking Ganesh’s phone to find out his location,” said Ganesh Gaikwad, senior police inspector of Navghar police station.
The police met the boy’s college principal and his classmates. They were told Ganesh entered college at 11.30am and left at 12.40pm. The principal said that he often bunks lectures. “The principal had told his uncle that Ganesh had failed in two subjects. Shinde always used to advise him to concentrate in his studies,” said Gaikwad.At 10pm on Saturday, Ganesh finally told his friend that he had been released by his abductors. His uncle rushed to Mulund station and brought him to police station. During interrogation, Ganesh confessed that he had staged the kidnap so that his unclecould stop reprimanding him. After two hours of counselling, the police allowed the uncle to take Ganesh home.