The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday arrested the man who allegedly masterminded the daring abduction of Anant Gupta, the three-year-old son of Adobe India CEO Naresh Gupta. The police said the accused, Chattrapal, was also one of the two men who kidnapped Anant on November 13 while the boy was on his way to school.
At a press conference, RKS Rathore, senior superintendent of police, Noida, said Chattrapal was arrested from an area in Noida’s 14 and 15 sectors. Chattrapal’s was the second arrest in the case. His cousin Jitender, an accused, was arrested soon after Anant returned home on Friday.
The sequence of events began to unravel as the police and Chattrapal narrated the incidents at the press conference. However, the last part of the story, of how Anant returned home alone, in an autorickshaw, remains to be explained. Rathore said that would become clear only with the arrest of Pawan, the second kidnapper.
Meanwhile, Gupta, who was present at the press meet, urged people to believe the police’s statements on the case.
Rathore said, “Chattrapal conspired with Pawan to kidnap Anant and they had been keeping a close watch on the Gupta family. They had even taken the cellphone number of the guards posted at the Guptas’ house.”
Rathore said Chattrapal wanted to make some quick money. “He had even tried his hand at films and claims to have acted in a telefilm,” he said.
The police said Chattrapal and Pawan stole the motorcycle of one Suresh Kumar Sharma of Delhi on November 7. A UP number plate (UP 16 J 5268) was promptly put in place.
The duo first planned to kidnap Anant on November 10 but did not find an opportune moment. They returned on November 11 and 12 but since the school was closed for the weekend, Anant did not come out of his home.
On November 13, Rathore said, Chattrapal and Pawan entered Sector 15 A — where the Guptas reside — through Gate No 1. Chattrapal was riding the bike; Pawan was the pillion rider. Rathore said they saw the maid taking Anant towards the bus stop. "They drove towards them, slowed the bike and Pawan snatched Anant and put him on his lap," he said.
The police said Pawan and Chattrapal sped away with Anant, escaping through gate No. 1, and went past the Rajnigandha crossing at Sector 3. They stopped at a petrol pump to refill and headed for Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh, where they stayed at the house of Pawan's relative. Rathore said they made two ransom calls to the mobile phone of Anant's mother Nidhi. They got the phone number from Anant's identity card.
The police said the kidnappers made ransom calls from the mobile phone of Jitender, who knew about the conspiracy, and another they had purchased.
Chattrapal said, "On November 14, we moved out of Hardoi and, after driving 50 km, stopped to make a call to Anant's parents. Anant talked to his mother then." According to Chattrapal, they then drove through Farrukhabad, Kasganj and reached Khair Nagla village near Dolna. "There we went to meet a friend, Sunil, to ask for money. On November 15, we reached Mathura and took rest in a temple on the Parikarma Road," he said. From there they again called Nidhi and asked her to pay the ransom in Mathura on November 16-17.
Rathore said Nidhi's brother-in-law went to Mathura by train, carrying Rs 50 lakh. There, he was asked by the kidnappers to throw the bag of cash near a flyover. The police said the bag got torn and the cash spilled out. In the dark, the accused managed to collect only Rs 47.5 lakh. They returned the next day, only to find the locals carrying handful of notes.
The police said Chattrapal and Pawan then headed for Chattrapal's village Bellana where they kept the cash at his grandfather's house. Jitender joined them there. Together, they proceeded to Ghaziabad. On reaching Hapur Road, they disposed of the motorcycle and parted ways. Pawan left with the boy.
Chattrapal said they had planned to demand only Rs 10 lakh but when Nidhi offered to pay Rs 50 lakh, they agreed.
Rathore said no evidence was found against Vijay Chauhan, named as an accused on Friday, but two more persons were involved. One of them is Sunil.