Hours after the 11-year-old son of a garment trader was kidnapped from central Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar area by two property dealers for a ransom of Rs. 1.5 crore, the boy was rescued safely from Haryana’s Rewari by the Delhi Police.
While one of the accused, Harpal Singh Sodhi, 42, has been arrested, the alleged mastermind Harpreet Singh is untraceable.
Police said Harpreet hatched the plan to kidnap the victim after he came to know that the victim’s family has a huge amount of money in cash to buy a shop in Rajinder Nagar.
Known to the victim family for the past six years, Harpreet was talking to the victim’s mother when he came to know about their plan to buy the property.
She apparently told him that they had sold off a plot to buy the shop in Rajinder Nagar and have R80 lakh in cash ready for the deal. Alok Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (central), said the matter came to their notice at around 7pm on Saturday, almost 50 minutes after the boy, Harneet, was pulled inside a car metres away from his house.
“Harneet had gone to a nearby shop to get his father’s phone account recharged. But, when he did not return home the family went out in his search,” said Kumar. The family found the mobile cover lying on the road.
At around 6.41 pm, while his family was desperately looking for him, Harneet’s mother, Jaswinder Kaur, received a call on her mobile phone and the caller, who identified himself as Khan, claimed that her son was in his custody.
“The caller threatened her that her son will be shot if they are not paid a ransom of R1.5 crore by 11 am on Sunday. The family immediately informed the police,” said Kumar. The kidnappers made two more calls.
Teams of the central district police swung into action and with the help of technical surveillance traced Harpal to his office in Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi from where he was making the ransom calls using a new SIM card. The police also established that Harpal and Harpreet were both in the same area when the kidnapping took place.
“Harpal was interrogated and at his instance the victim was rescued from Harpreet’s white Maruti Swift car, parked near the Rewari Railway station — 25 km away from Bhiwadi. Harpreet had abandoned the victim and his car, as he somehow got to know that we were coming there,” said Rajesh Deo, additional DCP (central).