The child does not come home on scheduled time from school, making the parents deeply worried. They telephone everyone they know about to enquire if they saw the child, search in every possible place the child may go to, but to no avail. A sense of trepidation heightens, they cannot figure out what to do next. Then the telephone rings. Unidentified individuals from the other end claims the child is in their control, that if the parents want him back they must pay millions and that if they act ‘smart’ and inform the police they will ‘finish off’ the child. Then the child is brutally murdered. We have seen this happen in crime movies and serials. And we have cringed at the thought of our children or anyone’s children being kidnapped for ransom and then murdered. This reprehensible tragedy befell parents of an 11-year old child in Bhaktapur on Sunday.
Nishant Khadka, 11, was kidnapped from Kandaghari area, most possibly on his way home from school, by an unidentified gang on Sunday. The kidnappers asked for four million rupees in ransom shortly after the child was kidnapped. When the ransom was not paid, the criminals killed Nishant at an under-construction building near Thimi. Police is investigating the case and more details are yet to emerge but preliminary investigation has revealed that it was the case of kidnap and murder. On Monday afternoon, a team of Metropolitan Police Crime Division shot dead two ‘kidnappers’ in an encounter at Ghyampedanda in Suryabinayak Municipality, Bhaktapur. The police have recovered two used bullets and a mobile set from the incident site which the kidnappers had used to call the mother of the victim for ransom. This incident has raised alarm about security system of Kathmandu Valley. Thus the security agencies must be alert and ensure the safety of people, including children and women. It is also upon parents themselves to ensure that their children do not fall into the wrong hands. The kidnappers are often the relatives or known persons who know where the children go, when their school hours are over, when they leave for school from home and so on. But more importantly, it is the responsibility of the police to ensure security.
Over the last few weeks, the number of heinous crimes— kidnapping and rape and murder and kidnapping and murder—has been increasing alarmingly. And there has been widespread criticism in the social media about police not doing enough to control the crimes on time. Nepal Police must get to the bottom of kidnapping case in Bhaktapur and make the findings public. The police have started action and some progress has been made in this direction but unless the situation is created whereby every criminal fears the law, we will continue to face such problems in the days to come as well. One of the key measures to discourage criminals from resorting to such heinous crime is to investigate the cases in depth and get the murderers arrested and punished. Nepal Police has the track record of tracking the criminals involved in cases that occurred years ago. We believe it is capable of controlling all forms of crimes if it is allowed to work independently, without political interference. Police must do its best to find the culprits and punish them. If police fails to ensure security even in the heart of the valley, who will feel safe?