KATHMANDU: Kidnappings have become rampant in the Kathmandu Valley in the last one year. According to Metropolitan Police Crime Division, more than 29 of such attacks had been directed at young students and the business community.

Most of the abduction cases, however, went unreported as the victims did not lodge complaints for fear of reprisal.

“In the past one year, the police department has been successful in nabbing the masterminds of the reported cases of abduction. Affluent traders and children belonging to wealthy families have been falling prey to abduction carried out with the motive to fleece the victim’s family of a hefty ransom,” reasoned Birendra Bahadur Shrestha, SSP, MPCD.

Shrestha maintained that the police department was well-equipped and capable of checking criminal activities in the capital.

Nawa Raj Silwal, Superintendent of Police at Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, echoed Shrestha. “No criminals have been let off the

hook. We are committed to execute our assigned duties to ensure that security prevails.”

Dadhiram Neupane, an inspector, revealed that the cases of kidnappings were increasing at an alarming rate as compared to the pervious years. He, however, could not give the precise details.

Despite round-the-clock vigil, turbulent political situation and frequent security lapses have resulted in an increased rate of abductions. Many kidnapping victims were quietly paying ransoms without informing the authorities, the police claimed.

“Turbulent political situation and continuing inter and intra-party feuds have also bolstered criminals’ morale,” said a senior police official who preferred not to be named.

The latest victim of such abduction was XII grader Khyati Shah who was found dead in a stream at Sainbu VDC, Lalitpur, on Sunday. Shah, a student of Jubilant College and Research Centre, Kalimati, was reportedly taken hostage from Putalisadak some 18 days back.

The teenager girl was allegedly killed by her own tutor Biren Shrestha, 42, who has now been taken in police custody.

Earlier, Monica Piya, a fourth grader at Sauryadeep Boarding High School, Balaju, was rescued unharmed from the grip of two abductors on June 11. They were later nabbed with the joint efforts of the locals and the police.