The four-year-old Pune boy, who was kidnapped by an unidentified motorcyclist near his kindergarten a week ago, was happily reunited with his parents on Wednesday. News of his kidnapping had been making waves on Pune’s WhatsApp groups and social media in recent days.
Swarnav Chavan, the boy whose photos went viral on WhatsApp and Facebook groups in Pune, was abducted around 10am on January 11 while he was walking to his kindergarten. The son of the pathologist Dr. Satish Chavan and Prachi Chavan who run a laboratory in Balewadi, Swarnav aka Duggu was last seen in a CCTV grab showing him being carried away by an unidentified motorcyclist. Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Police had launched a massive manhunt for the child based on a missing persons report filed by the Chavan couple at Chaturshrungi Police Station in Pune.
“The boy is fine. Although he was found after eight days, there is no trauma. His parents are doctors and will take care of their son. A pediatrician will also examine him. We understand that many well-wishers took to social media, but that could have further complicated the case. Therefore, we appeal to those affected that the boy is now safe with his parents and let the police do their job,” said Pune Police Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Ravindra Shisve, adding that others Investigations would have to be initiated and nab the kidnapper would move on.
According to Chief Police Inspector Dr. Vivek Muglikar, in charge of Wakad Police Station, “The alleged abductor seated the boy with a security guard at a building near the Lotus Business School in Punawale, a Pune suburb near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, and asked him to leave on April 10 Watching the boy for a few minutes. When he didn’t come back, the child started crying. Security guard Dadarao Jadhav then found a phone number in the child’s bag and made a video call using the number of the boy’s father, Dr. Satish Chavan, who then alerted the police and picked up his son at 2:30 p.m.
According to sources, the investigation was severely hampered when Pune Police discovered that not all CCTV systems near Balewadi, Baner were operational. During the course of the investigation, they found that the CCTVs at Mitcon, Balewadi High Street and Radha Chowk were not operational. Eventually, with the help of their Pimpri-Chinchwad colleagues, they found a trace of the biker and the child on CCTV in Chikli and Nigdi. Police suspect the massive search for the boy and the constant uproar on social media, with people posting messages praying for his return, may have forced the alleged kidnapper to release the child.
Police sources remained silent on whether ransoms had been demanded of the doctors and said further investigations were ongoing. The Chavans remained unavailable for comment.
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Published on: Wednesday, January 19, 2022 11:47 PM IST