The three-year-old son of the senior vice-president and head of India operations of software company Adobe was on Monday abducted outside his Noida residence.
The incident took place around 8:45 am when the boy, Anant, accompanied by the family’s domestic help, Aasha, had stepped out of the house for school. Two men, on a motorcycle and armed with pistols, intercepted them and forced Anant onto the motorcycle. The kidnappers fled with the boy before Aasha and the security guards present nearby could react.
Naresh Gupta, Anant’s father, is currently in the United States. He is said to be on his way back to India. No ransom call had been received till late on Monday.
Noida's Senior Superintendent of Police RKS.
Rathore said, “Anant had barely walked 50 metres from his house in Sector 15A towards the stop from where his school bus was to pick him up, when the kidnappers appeared. They wore helmets and had their faces covered. They had even covered the registration plate of the motorcycle with a sticker.” The pillion rider snatched Anant by the hand and forced the boy between himself and the driver as they drove away.
Anant is a pre-nursery student at the Lotus Valley School. His elder sister, Kavita, studies in the same school. Their mother was inside the house at the time of the incident.
The family has two domestic helps, a driver, a gardener and a security guard. All of them are being questioned.
At the time of the kidnapping, some people were out on the road taking their morning walks. There were also four security guards at colony club's main gate; there was a security guard outside the Guptas' house and people standing outside a Mother Dairy booth nearby.
As the security guards ran after the motorcycle and blew their whistles, the guards at the main gate tried to block the way but the kidnappers managed to dodge them.
An eyewitness said, "The kidnappers were carrying pistols and brandished them to scare bystanders. The motorcycle was most probably a Pulsar or a Splendour."
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force and local police are investigating the kidnapping.
Police suspect the kidnappers may have worked for the family earlier or were known to those working at the Gupta home. "They had done their homework in detail and appear to have reached the place a number of times before executing their operation," said a senior police officer.
"The kidnappers knew the time when Anant left for school and also the fact that it would be his maid and not his father accompanying him."
Lalit Gupta, Naresh's brother-in-law, said, "We have no personal enmity with anyone nor any business rivalry."
The up market Sector 15A houses two former cabinet secretaries, a former chief secretary in the UP government, four former director generals of police and a host of serving and retired bureaucrats.
NB Singh, inspector general, Meerut range, said: "We have cordoned off the entire area and believe the kidnappers have not yet managed to take the boy out of Noida."