Kochi: With social media abuzz with reports of a kidnapping racket becoming active, residents in many pockets of the district are in a state of fear while the cops have warned of strict action against those behind hoax messages on platforms like WhatsApp. As many as three cases were registered in Muvattupuzha alone in the last few days over attempts to kidnap toddlers. However, preliminary investigations found nothing conclusive on the presence of child lifters in the area.
“We are probing the complaints and even collected CCTV footage of certain suspicious vehicles. But so far there are no conclusive findings,” said a senior police officer. Meanwhile, the Kochi Police has started a probe with the help of the cybercell after voice messages about the presence of child kidnappers were issued even in the name of an Assistant Commissioner of Police. “A probe is on to trace the origin of these messages being circulated through WhatsApp. Stern action will be initiated against the scaremongers who even dared to create a fake message in the name of an assistant commissioner-ranked officer,” M P Dinesh, city police commissioner said.