Sunday, September 12, 2010


Jawan hunts for daughter’s abductors

Patna, Sept. 11: Deputed on the international border, havildar Rajiv Ranjan Pandey has stood guard, ready to fight any enemy who could harm his countrymen. Now, sitting at home for the past two months, he is clueless how to rescue his eight-year-old daughter from an enemy who is in the hiding.

A havildar in the 2nd Bihar Regiment, Pandey alias Bhola Pandey was posted at Ranikhep on India-China border when he got the news about his daughter Shikha being abducted from the Company Sah locality of Sasaram town in Rohtas district. He left for home immediately, hoping his daughter would be rescued by the time he would reach his village.

“It’s been two months since Shikha’s abduction. I have been running from pillar to post to secure her release but the police have failed to trace the kidnappers’ whereabouts,” said Pandey.

Shikha, a Class III student of Vidya Sagar School at Sasaram, went missing from the Company Sah area on July 20. Initially a missing complaint was lodged at Modal police station.

“Soon the missing complaint was converted to a kidnapping case after the kidnappers demanded a ransom of Rs 6 lakh for the safe release of Sikha,” said Pandey.

The harried father received some information about his daughter from witnesses who claimed they saw Shikha being kidnapped by some Maruti van-borne criminals from near her house. Station house officer of Modal police station Mohammad Akram said that the girl was picked up when she was practising how to ride a bicycle in a field adjacent to Rauja Road.

With help of some local people, Pandey caught hold of one of the conspirators, Anil Pathak alias Chhotu, and handed over him to the police.

In police custody, Pathak confessed to his crime and disclosed the name of another accused, Sipahi Sharma, who was taken into custody from his village Kharari Tola under Nokha police station.

“By the time police reached Sharma’s house, the kidnappers had shifted Shikha somewhere else. Both Pathak and Sharma were later sent to jail,” said Pandey.

The army jawan is peeved at the pace of investigation. “When the two accused have admitted their involvement in the crime, why the police have not taken them on remand for further interrogation?” he asked.

Pandey is worried about the health of his wife Babita Devi. “One can well imagine the condition of a woman whose only daughter has been kidnapped and the police have failed to trace her even after 64 days,” he said.

Pathak’s role in the kidnapping case was suspected after he sought information about the cellphone number of Shikha’s grandmother soon after the incident on July 20. “Within six hours, the alleged abductors demanded a ransom of Rs 6 lakh on the mobile phone of Shikha’s grandmother,” said a police officer investigating the case.

“I had not expected such an indifferent attitude from police officers towards the case. I met many senior police officers, including the DIG and the SP, and sought their intervention. Still no step has been taken by them to recover my daughter,” Pandey said.

Rohtas Superintendent of Police Vikas Vaibhav, when contacted, said efforts are on to recover the child.


Eight-year-old Shikha was abducted on July 20 from a field in Company Sah area.

Abductors demanded Rs 6 lakh as ransom from havildar Rajiv Ranjan Pandey’s family.

Two accused -- Anil Pathak alias Chhotu and Sipahi Sharma – have been arrested.

Kidnappers still at large. Police have no information on the child’s safety.