UT police failed to know the whereabouts of Jagpal Beniwal, even four days after he allegedly kidnapped three-and- a-half-years-old Harmaini, since he was constantly changing the SIM cards of his mobile phone.
The case has, once again, brought to fore the helplessness of Chandigarh police in tracking criminals in the absence of mobile phone records. A look into the recent past reveals that Chandigarh police solved most cases with the help of call records and tower locations of mobile phones used by those wanted by law.
Harmaini, the daughter of Delhi-based stockbroker Harish Arora and Priya, was allegedly kidnapped by their business partner Jagpal Beniwal on Tuesday from a Sector 22 hotel. The couple along with their two children, Jagpal and the latter's friend Chinar had arrived in the city on January 12.
Jagpal is alleged to have initially demanded Rs 1 crore after kidnapping the girl but toned down the demand to Rs 60 lakh the next day.
So far, police have rounded up four persons in connection with the case, including a shopkeeper in Hisar on charge of issuing a SIM card to the accused without proper verification.
Chandigarh police seemed to be groping in the dark as Jagpal had switched off his own cell phone and was calling his family from different numbers.
Police were also trying to track down the mediator through whom co-accused Chinar talked to her family. Police claimed that Chinar got in touch with her mother and child through a friend on Thursday. Police were also said to be putting pressure on relatives of the accused to zero in on the absconding accused.
Police were also keeping the kin of Jagpal and Chinar under surveillance.
After preliminary investigation, police believe that four persons were involved in the kidnapping, including two Haryana residents. Police were looking into the credentials of two persons involved with Jagpal, to find out whether they had any previous criminal background.
Meanwhile, police were not ready to comment on the safety of the abducted girl. A senior police officer said that as per their information, the kidnapped girl was safe till Wednesday.