Anant returns, family exults, police tell tales | india | Hindustan Times
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Anant returns, family exults, police tell tales

LIKE HIS abduction, his homecoming too happened all of a sudden. On Friday afternoon, four days after he was abducted, three-year-old Anant Gupta reached home, travelling alone in an autorickshaw.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 16:35 IST

LIKE HIS abduction, his homecoming too happened all of a sudden. On Friday afternoon, four days after he was abducted, three-year-old Anant Gupta reached home, travelling alone in an autorickshaw.

Around 12.15 p.m., Anant reached his home at Sector 15A in Noida. His father Naresh Gupta, CEO of Adobe India, was catching up on sleep after having spent another night, awake, anxious. “I went to sleep around 11.15 a.m. I heard shouts that Anant was back. I rushed downstairs and saw he had returned,” said Gupta.

It was not just the Guptas who were relieved. There was a collective sigh of relief in the National Capital Region where even strangers prayed for the safe return of the boy. Anant was kidnapped on Monday morning by two armed men on a motorcycle while he was on his way to school.

The Uttar Pradesh Police said the boy returned because of their efforts. They were, however, unable to join all the dots. At a press conference, seven hours after Anant’s return, Narendra Bahadur Singh, Inspector-General, Meerut range, said the police had put the boy on the autorickshaw as part of a strategy after they rescued him from the Kakore police station area near Bulandshahr. Anant, however, told mediapersons that he was put on the auto by “bhaiyya”, which was how he kept referring to his abductors.

Singh said a police van had tailed the auto to the Guptas’ residence. But the guard at the house, Devender Singh, said no van was following the autorickshaw.

Devender said the autorickshaw driver had walked up to the gate with the boy and asked him if he recognised the child. Since it was Devender’s first day at the Guptas, he failed to identify Anant and asked the driver to go away The police said Jitender’s father and Chattrapal, another accused, ran a dairy booth outside Gupta’s house and had hatched the plan to kidnap Anant.

Earlier, the Guptas and the police gave a very different version of the events leading to Anant’s return and stuck to it till quite late in the night. It went like this: the Guptas’ security guard Devender Singh saw the autorickshaw driver walking up to the gate with the boy. The driver asked Devender if he recognised the child. Since it was Devender’s first day at the Guptas, he failed to identify Anant and asked the driver to go away. When the driver insisted that he was asked to drop the child at this address, Devender took Anant inside. Gupta too had denied that ransom money was paid to the abductors.

At a press conference, Narendra Bahadur Singh, inspector-general, Meerut range, said the police had put the boy on the autorickshaw as part of a strategy after they rescued him from the Kakore police station area.