Even as Delhi's reputation as the country's crime capital is not about to change anytime soon, it may well be on its way to becoming the country's kidnapping capital.
The latest statistics released by the Delhi Police on 6 January, reported a surge of 4 percent in the number of cases of crime in 2011 — with 318.47 crimes per lakh population in 2011, compared to 313.06 in 2010.
Now a special CNN-IBN report filed by correspondent Priyali Sur, backed by an RTI report, finds disturbing statistics about cases of kidnapping in the city.
According to the report, 13 children go missing in Delhi each day and in just four months between January and April 2011 the number of children that have gone missing is 1,600. In 573 cases no FIRs were filed.
While few children like nine-year-old Uma are fortunate to have been rescued from her kidnappers, many like Chetan (also 9 years) were killed even as the police showed complete apathy in trying to rescue the kidnapped child.
Electrician Banwari, says his son Chetan (9), would be with him today if the police had been more proactive in helping him retrive his son. Banwari says he rushed to the police immediately after his son's kidnappers called asking for Rs 40,000 as ransom, but the officer at the police station was non-cooperative.
"The IO there — named Lalchand — told me to take the (ransom) money and go to the site the kidnappers told me. He said, 'After you get custody of your child tell us and we will nab the kidnappers'. I lost hope as soon as he said this," Banwari told CNN-IBN.
As instructed by the police, Banwari put together the ransom amount, but with no help from the police, his son Chetan was killed even before he could be rescued.
"If the cops would tell me at the time, 'Where do you have to go? We will come along with you'. Then my child would be with me today," he says.
Nine-year-old, Uma, was more fortunate. She was rescued by neighbors who nabbed the kidnapper, within days.
Uma told CNN-IBN she was taken to Agra by a lady, where there were four more abducted children (one girl and 3 boys, she says). The kidnapper, she says, kept moving them to different houses there. "There were 3-4 houses there. First she took us to her mother's sister's house, then to another aunt's house mausi and then to her mother's sister-in-law's place", Uma says.
Uma mother told CNN-IBN that despite Uma having given the police first hand information about the kidnapper, the other children were not rescued. Even Uma's kidnapper was set free just one day after being nabbed.
Uma was one of the very fortunate few kidnapped children who were found and rescued. But for all the others, they become yet another invisible statistic in the police's record books and in their parents' memory.
Watch the CNN-IBN report: