One mistake nailed him | india | Hindustan Times
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One mistake nailed him

Sachin Bharadwaj, the brains behind the kidnapping of the two Lancers International School students, committed the cardinal mistake of leaving behind a clue—he used his own Optra car to kidnap the kids without changing or removing the number plate on it.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2010 23:29 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

Sachin Bharadwaj, the brains behind the kidnapping of the two Lancers International School students, committed the cardinal mistake of leaving behind a clue—he used his own Optra car to kidnap the kids without changing or removing the number plate on it.

Ultimately it was this number plate—HR 26Z 2034—that gave Bharadwaj away.

Bharadwaj had used three cars to kidnap the children. He also hired some professional criminals and assured them a definite sum for their job.

When the kidnappers dumped the children’s mother near Bhondsi village, an eyewitness noted the number of Bharadwaj’s car and called the police.

“We got his address from the transportation department’s records. He probably did not change the number plate as he kept his vehicle at a distance thinking no one would notice it,” said Alok Mittal, the joint police commissioner.

The police revealed that Bhardwaj was an MBA and worked with Citibank as a sales manager till February 2009 when he left and formed his own company Goodlife Setup as business partner with another private Indian bank.

Mittal said Bhardwaj had hired the services of professional criminals through a bad character he knew and had promised them a specific amount for their job. “However, he had told the criminals that he would pay the criminals from the ransom amount only and that he would keep the balance money with him. The downturn had affected his business adversely and he was in need of money desperately.”

Bharadwaj, originally from Bahadurgarh in Haryana, lived in Palam Vihar with his wife and one-year-old son. Bharadwaj came to know of Gupta’s financial condition when he visited Gupta after the latter applied for a home loan in 2008.

“In order to execute the kidnapping properly, Bharadwaj, along with his accomplices, had traced the route Gupta’s wife Vandana would take to drop the children to school on Monday. He had zeroed in on Gupta for extortion about a couple of months back,” the JCP said.