The police on Tuesday arrested Gopi Reddy aged 39, a native of Odisha, for kidnapping a child from MGR Chennai Central Railway Station on Sunday. Police zeroed in on the accused based on CCTV footage that caught him in the brazen act.
According to reports, the 3-year-old boy was found abandoned near Thiruporur bus terminus and was admitted to an orphanage at Chengalpet by a Childline volunteer. Police were informed about him on Tuesday following which the team confirmed that it was the missing boy.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) formed a special team to nab the accused. According to The New Indian Express, the boy, identified as Somnath, is the son of Ram Singh and Neelavathi Celliwada hailing from Nabarangpur district of Odisha.
According to Times of India, initial inquiries have revealed that the accused befriended the boyâ€™s parents on Sunday evening. The couple, both daily wage labourers, did not have a place to stay in Chennai and had come to the station to stay overnight before heading out to meet a contractor in the morning.
The man also went out for drinks at a TASMAC shop with the boyâ€™s father on Sunday evening. Later, when they were all asleep, Gopi fled the station with the sleeping boy on his shoulders. The CCTV footage showed Gopi carrying the sleeping child, heading towards the Park Station via the Metro Rail subway.
Around 2.30 am on Sunday, Neelavathi raised an alarm about her missing child following which the railway police launched a manhunt for the kidnapper and the boy.
Investigations revealed that the kidnapper had taken the child to Tambaram by train. Later, he was suspected to have boarded a bus but then abandoned the child. â€śFearing getting caught, he abandoned the child and escaped,â€ť the officer was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.