Parents and police in Kerala are on high alert after several attempts to abduct children were reported from different parts of the state recently. In the latest incident, reported from Ramanattukara in Kozhikode, a three-member gang tried to kidnap nine-year-old boy on his way to school on Thursday morning. 

Police said the gang approached Hari Govind, 14, a student of Post Basic Higher Secondary School, in a black Omni van and asked whether he knew the way to the temple. As the kid stopped to answer the question, the trio dragged him to the van and covered his nose with a cloth which made him unconscious. By afternoon, they abandoned the boy at Kottakkal-Bypass road after tonsuring his hair. Govind narrated the incident to a local person who took the boy to the police station, the police said. 

Several incidents of alleged kidnapping attempts are being reported from Malappuram district recently. The police have received seven such complaints from Tanur, Tirur and Kalpakanchery in the district. However, all these children escaped unhurt. 

"They approached me when I reached a secluded area on my way to school. The men came in a car and had worn masks," the 12-year-old student of Bafakhy Yatheemkhana Higher Secondary School, Valanannur, who escaped from the abductors said. 

Police have not traced the abductors so far." Their intention is to create panic. There is hardly any evidence or witness to prove the incidents. Search is on, and we have alerted fuel stations, workshops, shop owners, etc. to keep vigil," a senior police official said.