A six-year-old girl was kidnapped from the road near Kottarakkara, Kollam district, in broad daylight on November 27. Abigel Sarah Reji, the daughter of Raji John and Siji Raji, was taken by force in a car when she was going for tuition with her brother Jonathan (9).
The kidnappers also attempted to take Jonathan, but he bravely resisted, leading to a physical altercation where he was pushed and sustained injuries. Jonathan managed to escape and quickly ran back to inform his grandparents about the traumatic incident. Notably, the parents, both nurses in different hospitals, were at work when the abduction occurred.
As the news reached them, parents rushed back home. Then one woman called the mother of the child and asked for the ransom of Rs 5 lakhs. Later on the woman called the child’s father and asked for Rs 10 lakhs; then only the child will be given back unhurt.
A sigh of relief swept across the state as news broke that Abigel was found unharmed in Ashramam Grounds. The police had launched extensive checks on vehicles across multiple districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Ernakulam. Thousands gathered at the victim’s house, and prayers for Abigel resonated throughout the state during the 21-hour ordeal.
The kidnapping occurred in a close-knit village where everyone knew each other, raising concerns about the audacity of the crime. A car, reportedly with a fake registration number, was found parked for three days near the site. Witnesses tried to follow the vehicle, but it disappeared.
Despite extensive police efforts, the kidnappers remain unidentified. The incident has heightened concerns in Kerala, given previous atrocities against children in the state. Notably, this case echoes the grim incident in Aluva near Kochi, where a five-year-old was kidnapped and later found dead among garbage.
In this latest case, the kidnappers managed to transport the child to Ashramam Grounds, a prominent location in the heart of Kollam Municipal Corporation, despite police combing operations. Local residents, not law enforcement, discovered the child in an area frequented by driving schools. The circumstances surrounding the safe return of the child remain a perplexing question.”