Kochi police demand Rs 5 lakh from parents to release girls rescued from cybercriminals

Kochi: A Delhi couple who migrated to Kochi 11 years ago had a shocking experience with the police. It is alleged that the Kochi police demanded Rs 5 lakh from the couple for releasing their daughters who went missing after falling prey to cybercriminals.

The couple were engaged in footwear sales at Pachalam. Among their 5 children, elder sons aged 21 and 19, have been helping their father in business. The other three are students.

The family landed in trouble after a smartphone was bought for their daughter who is a Plus Two student. Soon, she fell into the trap of cybercriminals. As the friendship with unknown people in the virtual world became stronger, she started to skip classes. Though the parents warned her, she didn’t pay heed to their words.

Her online boyfriend continuously forced her to leave home and she left the house with her sister to enjoy life outside. On August 21 night, the two sisters left home with Rs 35,000. The parents lodged a complaint with Ernakulam North police station immediately after the girls went missing.

The police informed the parents that the girls left for Delhi via train. They asked them to fly to Delhi and carry out an inquiry to trace the girls. The parents visited many places with the help of Delhi and Haryana police in search of the girls. Kochi police assisted the inquiry by only giving the location of the mobile phone.

Sympathising over the plight of the couple, Delhi police directed Kochi police to reach Delhi for the investigation. The poor couple borrowed money and covered all expenses including flight tickets and accommodation for Kochi police.

Finally, Delhi police traced the girls along with two men in Delhi. It was confirmed that the men, named Faizan and Subair, raped the elder girl.

In a statement to police, the girls said that they ran away from home irked over the parents directing them to do household chores. Delhi police told the girls to go home with their parents.

The Kochi police returned to Ernakulam after arresting Subair, one of the accused and took the girls under their custody. But they refused to release the girls to their parents. They raised a strange demand to the poor parents.

ASI of the police station told the parents to let the accused marry the elder girl. As they declined, the police demanded a sum of Rs 5 lakh for releasing the girls from custody. When the parents refused to pay the cash, ASI challenged them and said they will not see their 5 children anymore.