TVM child abduction case: Nomadic lifestyle of culprit causes delay in arrest

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Thiruvananthapuram: The nomadic lifestyle of the culprit, who kidnapped a two-year-old girl from Chacka, was the main reason behind the delay in nabbing him.
Police arrested the accused on Sunday, who owns a mobile phone but hardly uses it, 12 days after the incident happened.

Hassan Kutty used to wander aimlessly. He usually takes rest wherever he reaches at night. He then takes up odd jobs in roadside eateries and tea shops to earn a living. According to police, the culprit is mostly inactive during the daytime.

Though the Kollam jail authorities identified Hassan Kutty, who is an accused in a POCSO case, from the CCTV visuals, it was a challenge for cops to trace him due to his impromptu lifestyle. Around 3,000 mobile users had passed through the place where the kid was sleeping with her parents.

This prompted the cops to the realisation that by tracing the mobile location alone, the culprit couldn’t be zeroed in. They then resorted to collecting all CCTV visuals–including from the Brahmos facility and the Vande Bharat trains–from nearby areas and made a shortlist of 30 people.

Only Hassan Kutty had covered his head with a shawl and passed through the area, among these suspects. They then gathered visuals of him without the shawl and sent them to all jails. The visuals after he dumped the kid and crossed the railway line were clear enough for authorities to identify him.

As Hassankutty does his rounds only after dusk, cops kept a close watch at roadside eateries and public toilets. That helped them to nab the culprit.

The team of cops headed by DCP Nidhin Raj had to scour all possible routes of this unusual suspect in their effort to nab him.

Sanghumukham ACP Rajappan, Station House Officer Sreejith, SIs Santosh,ABhilash, M Umesh, T J Sabu, civil police officers I Shamnad, S Vinod, M C Renjith, R Rajeev Kumar, S Shibhu, and T R Deepuraj were the other members of the team.

The cops now have to verify and confirm all the sequences of events since he kidnapped the kid who was sleeping with her parents. Though the cops searched the entire day, the kid was found after 19 hours of ordeal.

The evidence collection has to be completed to ascertain where the accused went with the kid and where he stayed. Police expect clarity on all these details by Tuesday.

The child, whose parents are reportedly migrant workers from Bihar, went missing at midnight on February 18. She was found abandoned in an obsolete drain near Kochu Veli railway station, after 19 hours of search.

The girl received initial medical attention at the General Hospital before being transferred to SAT Women and Child Hospital on the Medical College campus by the authorities. Following a confrontation with relatives demanding her release at SAT hospital, the police then moved the child to the Child Welfare Committee’s shelter centre along with her three siblings and mother.

Earlier, the investigation had even extended to the child’s relatives, amid suspicions that the family members had abducted the child to threaten the girl’s family.

The case has garnered significant attention in Kerala, particularly since it follows a similar recent incident in Oyoor, Kollam, where another child was kidnapped.

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