THANE: A three-year-old toddler, allegedly kidnapped by a 20-year-old man, was rescued within 24 hours by city crime branch. Suraj Singh , from Allahabad, was trapped by sleuths near on Friday .

Police said the toddler, from Sahyadri Nagar in camp 4, was kidnapped on Thursday at 5pm. A case was registered and the case was handed over to crime branch.

Police learned that that the accused was in love with the child‘s aunt and had visited her in the morning at Vitthalwadi, said Deepak Deoraj, deputy commissioner of police (crime). After kidnapping the child, he kept him at the house of a friend in Vikhroli. Later, he called the aunt to meet him, and told her to come alone, or he would kill the child. Police laid a trap but he moved from Kurla to and then Thane.

Police sent the aunt to Thane station at 4pm on Friday, and when the accused came close to her, the sleuths pinned him down, said Mahesh Tarde, senior inspector of Ulhasnagar crime branch. The child was handed over to its parents by police. Police said the aunt earlier lived in Surat, while the accused resided in the neighbourhood. “There was a dispute with the aunt and her husband, leading to divorce proceedings,” said the officer.

The accused, living opposite, was in love with her but she ignored him. The accused used to harass her, so she came down to her sister‘s house in Vitthalwadi. The accused had followed her here and abducted the child.

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