It could be straight out of a thriller. A businessman travelling by car from Delhi to Chandigarh was waylaid by unidentified assailants, who drove him home and decamped with his car, jewellery and cash on Wednesday, police said.
Lalit Behl, a Chandigarh-based businessman, arrived in New Delhi from the Philippines on Tuesday night and his driver picked him up from the airport. But he was waylaid on the highway near Haryana's Karnal town, around 100 km from Chandigarh, an official said.
After learning that Behl didn't have anything valuable on him, they forcibly drove him to his house in Chandigarh, held him and his family hostage for over two hours before making off with their valuables.
"I was resting on the rear seat while my driver was driving the car. Near Karnal, an Innova car stopped before us and three well-built people stepped out and forced my driver to come out from the car at gunpoint," a visibly shocked Behl told IANS.
"One of them sat in the driver's seat and they pushed the driver onto the rear seat. They pointed a gun towards me and threatened to kill me if I raised an alarm," said Behl, who runs a business of pollution control equipments in Chandigarh.
While three people sat in his car, two others accompanied them in their vehicle.
"The miscreants reached Behl's house in the upscale Sector 33 at around 3 am and remained there until 5 am. hey decamped with Behl's car, jewellery, cash and hundreds of dollars," a police official said.
At the time of the incident, Behl's 92-year-old father, wife Rajni, his two sons, domestic help and driver were at home.
"I am still in shock as it was all very haunting. They threatened to kill us and demanded the keys of cupboards and whatever cash we had. They directed us to bolt our dog in the store-room," said Rajni.
"They ransacked the house and looked through even the medicine box and the kitchen utensils. They didn't even spare the jewellery I was wearing. But we didn't resist and handed over everything we had at that time," she added.
Before leaving the house, the robbers bolted all the family members in the bathroom, disconnected all the phones and took away the batteries from the cell phones.
"We called the forensic team to gather vital clues. We have recorded the statements of the driver and the family members," Sudershan Thakur, investigating officer of the case, told IANS.
"We will coordinate with the police of neighbouring states to catch the accused at the earliest," he added.
Sleuths of Haryana Police also reached Chandigarh to record the victims' statement.
This is the second incident in the span of one month of a car being hijacked from the national highway in Haryana.
Last month, BJP's Panchkula district chief Shamlal Sachdev's son Sanjiv, who works in an export company in Delhi, was waylaid along with his Mercedes Benz near Karnal at midnight.
He was also taken to his home in Panchkula and was held hostage along with his family members for three hours.
"Investigations are on. We will see whether it is a work of a professional gang of highway robbers or not," said V.N. Rai, Haryana's additional director general of police (law and order).