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January 17, 2003

PMT driver, others rescue girl from clutches of kidnapper

From: Pune Newsline, India - 17 Jan 2003

Express New Service
Pune, January 17: SHOWING extraordinary presence of mind, four residents of Rakshak Nagar society at Chandan Nagar rescued a 12-year-old hearing impaired girl from their neighbourhood who had been kidnapped by a 36-year-old man on Thursday evening.

They also nabbed the alleged kidnapper, Prakash Anant Gaikwad who was later handed over to Yerawada police. The girl’s mother has lodged a complaint of kidnapping with the police.

Gaikwad works as a mason and lives at Phursungi in Haveli taluka. Police said the motive behind the abduction is yet to be ascertained. The victim is the daughter of a private bus driver.

Police said the girl was accosted by Gaikwad while she was playing with other children. Gaikwad forced her on to his motorbike and sped away.

PMT bus driver Shaikh Gulam Azamuddin, who lives in the same society and who played a vital role in rescuing the girl recalls, ‘‘I was returning from duty on a moped when I heard some children crying for help. I started chasing the kidnapper, but after half a kilometre, I realised I would not be able to catch him and returned to the society.’’

Shaikh said he informed his friends, motor mechanic Asif Shaikh, centering contractor Ramzan Mulani, rickshaw driver Pappu Tamboli and ex-serviceman Subhash Warkhede, about the incident.

While Warkhede alerted the police control room on telephone, the others went back to search for the girl. They found him underneath a tree on Lohegaon-Vimanagar road and nabbed him. The police soon reached the spot and took him into custody.

Police have announced that Shaikh and his friends would be honoured.

© 2002: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.