KIDNAPPINGS for ransom have increased with children becoming the prime victims and in some cases they were killed due to the inability of the families to buy their freedom. News reports in an English daily on Saturday said at least six bodies of schoolchildren were recovered in the last 10 days of January in five districts after they were kidnapped as the families had failed to pay their ransoms. Following the increase in the number of abductions, parents of school going children are becoming worried about the safety of their wards as most kidnappings occur on the way home from schools or while children are playing in nearby grounds. Most analysts blame the failure of the law enforcers to reign in the terror groups which are operating under different social guises as family friends, relatives or acquaintances in most cases. They are moving without any hindrance from law enforcers notice because of the weakness of police and other forces in enforcing law, maintaining heightened vigilance on crime gangs and nabbing the culprits. Police statistics showed 879 people, most of them children and businessmen were kidnapped in 2013 – the highest number of abductions in a single year since 2004. RAB data on the other hand showed they had rescued 119 victims of abduction, including 20 children in 114 operations last year when they were also able to arrest 184 alleged abductors. But as we see they get bail and come out using various connections. However, no agencies could provide any specific statistics on how many children were kidnapped last year and how many were feared killed. As we see abductors usually target children of businessmen and expatriates knowing that their families can afford the ransom money. Moreover police don’t move quickly on filing a complaint of abduction because the families in most cases are not influential. Again, mobile transfers have strengthened the confidence of abductors which make them feel that they may remain out of the reach of police. In some cases, abductors even maintain a close touch with police to know about rescue operations and evade arrest. One example occurred when the Chittagong police recovered the decomposed body of a student of Class IX from Patiya upazila on January 27, eight days after he was missing. Family member went to a place the abductors had asked them to but found nobody there. Later they found the body of the boy in a pile of sand. Kidnappers had demanded Tk one crore for his freedom which the family failed to collect. The fact that kidnappers are often close family friends make the children easy targets. Children believe the offers that family friends-turned kidnappers put to lure them to their custody. The disclosure is highly sensitive and may destroy the very foundation of our social fabric. We believe that law enforcers must prove their worth without sitting idle to identify some kidnappers to give them exemplary punishment to deter others from committing the crime. Moreover social awareness is a must to alert children and their families about the various traps that abductors use on victims to avoid more such kidnappings.