Kerala child kidnap: Three of family remanded; ‘accused have been plotting for a year’, says police

Accused cited post-Covid financial crisis as motive, says senior police official

Abigel kidnap case accused sketches Sketches of accused released by Kerala Police

 Three of a family were remanded on Saturday in connection with the infamous Kerala child abduction case. The accused kidnapped the six-year-old girl to overcome their financial crisis.

Kerala Police ADGP M.R. Ajith Kumar said, “The accused have been planning for a year. A fake number plate was made almost a year ago and they cancelled the plan then. The plan was revived almost 1-1.5 months back and they have been looking for kids suitable for their plan.” The accused were identified as Padmakumar, a businessman in Kollam, his wife Anitha Kumari and their daughter Anupama. According to police, Anupama is a YouTuber and has five lakh followers.

The senior police officer said the minor girl’s brother was the first hero in the case and the girl second. He also applauded the artists who drew the sketches of the accused and called them third heroes in the case. On the day of the kidnap, the special investigation team's major focus was on coercing the gang to abandon the child safely, Ajith Kumar said. “The accused had conducted recce several times,” he said. 

Ajith Kumar said the abduction was well-planned and the accused had foreseen the movements of the police. He added that as per investigation till now, only the family was involved in the crime. 

Kumar said though Padmakumar own assets worth Rs 5-6 crore, but, most of them were pledged for loans and they had debts to the tune of Rs 5 crore. Kumar said, “Though had been planning for a year, aborted it in between and had been actively looking for victim for past 1-1. months.” The senior police officer said the accused wanted Rs 10 lakh to settle immediate debt dues and that was the motive of the kidnap. 

Kumar said Padmakumar was surprised seeing the financial growth of a few close to him and latter believed it was achieved through wrongful means. “Padmakumar had made a fake number plate last year and another one recently. He had cancelled his previous plan as his mother objected to it. Following his mother's demise, Padmakumar decided to execute his plan," OnManorama reported quoting the ADGP. Police suspect Anitha Kumari was the brainchild of the crime. Kumar said though family members opposed initially, Anupama also agreed to the plan after payments from YouTube stopped. 

"They targeted the six-year-old girl and planned to kidnap her thrice. But their plans failed as the child's mother and grandmother accompanied her to the tuition centre. On November 27, they found the situation favour for them as the children were not accompanied by any adult. They planned to kidnap the girl and leave a note demanding ransom with her brother. Anitha Kumari also handed over the note to the girl's brother and asked him to give it to his mother. But as the boy resisted the kidnap, the note fell inside the car amid the scuffle,” Kumar was quoted as saying by OnManorama.

“The investigation was done in professional manner, withstanding all pressures,” Ajith Kumar said. Kumar appreciated the investigation team led by DIG R. Nishanthini and IG Sparjan Kumar for nabbing the accused.


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