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They promised they’d let him go

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2009 23:57 IST
Vijaita Singh
Vijaita Singh
Hindustan Times
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For close to nine hours, Ribhu Chawla (16) was in the custody of the alleged kidnappers. But the teenager did not show much nervousness or distress, police said.

After all he knew one of his alleged kidnappers.

According to police, Ribhu had met 27-year-old Kunal Bhandari alias Rocky through his neighbour, a former call centre employee.

It was the neighbour, resident of SBI Enclave in Vikaspuri, who allegedly provided information to the kidnappers that Ribhu could be a 'soft target' because of his IT-firm-owner affluent father, said police.

Ribhu kept quiet when the accused were driving him around in Delhi and Karnal in Haryana in a Wagon R car negotiating for ransom money from his parents, police said.

The ransom calls were made from Ribhu's mobile phone.

Ribhu's father Sanjay Chawla, a software seller based in east Delhi's Patparganj talked several times to his son but not once did the teenager's voice show fear, said police.

The kidnappers had assured him they would let him go once they got the ransom money, police said.

According to police, Bhandari, a former Mr Delhi and a body builder came in touch with Ribhu through a common friend as part of a pre-planned strategy. Bhandari allegedly masterminded the crime along with three other accomplices--Rishabh Chauhan (24), Sukhvinder Singh (22) and Gaurav Chaddha (20).

"Ribhu kept telling his father that he was safe and would return home soon. On a couple of occasions he even spoke to the mother and asked her not to panic," said Sharad Aggarwal, DCP (west).

"They even stopped to provide him wafers and cold drink. The accused tied his hands with a nylon rope and used the same rope later to strangle him."

Classmate to identify killers

The teenager's classmate who is the "prime witness" to the crime would identify the killers on August 4 during a test identification parade at Tihar Jail on July 4, police said.

Used sketch pen to change car's number

The silver Wagon R car used in the crime belonged to Rishabh's father. The accused used a black sketch pen to alter the registration number. The original number of the car— DL3CAW 9076— was changed to 8876 with the black pen, and after Ribhu was kidnapped they restored the original number, police said.

1 am Wednesday

Once the kidnappers had picked up the bag containing the ransom money from a bus stop at GT Karnal road, the accused strangled him to death with a nylon rope, as they feared being identified, said police. Ribhu last spoke to his parents at 12.45 am on Wednesday and was killed in the moving car on way to Vasant Kunj.

Singh and Chaddha fled to Haridwar after the crime while Bhandari and Rishabh went home.

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