It took more than just prompt action on the part of the police to rescue a corporate honcho within six hours of his abduction from near his office in Noida Sector 65.
The abductors of Rathin Basu, the country president and managing director of Alstom T&D India Limited - the
Indian arm of the French energy and transport solutions giant - did not seize his mobile phone. They also made him call his family - a tactical error that helped the police nail them.
"We had details of his mobile phone and his car. His mobile phone was working and the assailants allowed him to make few calls to his family so that they do not panic. As soon as we got information, we formed a surveillance team in Noida and located his mobile phone in the Pandav Nagar area of Meerut. A digital map of the area was made. Since he was being held hostage in a house, his phone's location was fixed," said Preetinder Singh, Noida senior superintendent of police.
Even though they located the area, it was a challenge for the police since they had to comb a residential colony within a radius of half a kilometre to locate Basu.
The Noida Police mobilised a massive force of over 150 officers from three police stations to be sent to Meerut. The Meerut police were also asked to help. When the police team from Noida reached Pandav Nagar - a posh residential pocket of Meerut - over 50 officers of Meerut police were waiting for them.
Apart from the huge police team, the IG, DIG of Meerut Range and Noida SSP were present on the spot to oversee the rescue operation.
Soon, all entry and exit points to the colony were sealed and a door-to-door search was launched. Several Pandav Nagar residents panicked after police teams knocked their doors early morning. Many of them called the police control room as well while several did not open their doors.
"Since Basu's phone was not moving, we were not able to pin-point his location. When the abductors sensed police movement, they decided to flee while it was still dark. But when they started Basu's car in bungalow no. F-3, a nearby patrol party was alerted and went there to check. They spotted Basu's car and informed other teams," Singh said.
The house was raided and Basu was rescued. While three armed assailants were arrested, three others managed to escape. The bungalow belongs to a transporter, Akhand Pratap Singh, who is untraceable.