Three unidentified gunmen on Friday kidnapped a 9-year-old boy Ayush Ranjan when he was on his way to school.
The motorcycle-borne gunmen carrying sophisticated weapons waylaid the school van carrying Ayush to school at Awa More, pulled the boy out and whisked him away. They also assaulted the driver of the auto-rikshaw when he tried to resist them.
The incident took place near the Gopalaganj SP residence around 8.30 am. Raids were on in the area to rescue Ayush, police said.
The victim Ayush Ranjan, 9, is a student of Class Two of Grace Public School in Gopalganj. His father Ganeshwar Singh has been recently elected as panchayat chairman in the Primary Agriculture Credit Society (PACS) and runs a shop of fertilizers and seeds at Kaidala village under the Barauli police station.
Confirming the incident, Gopalganj SDPO (Sadar), Anil Kumar said that incident took place under the town police station when Ayush Ranjan along with five other students of the same school was going to school by a school van.
"Three criminals on a motorbike intercepted the school van, took the driver and the cleaner of school van to hostage at gunpoint. They dragged the boy from the van and sped away,” the SDPO said.
Eyewitnesses said that Ayush Ranjan started crying terribly and he was slapped slightly to subside his crying. “While two abductors fled on the motorcycle with the boy, the third one fled on foot firing gunshots in air. The operation continued for nearly 5 minutes,” they said.
The SDPO reached the place of occurrence immediately and alerted all police stations on wireless. The criminals fired many gunshots to scare of the residents also.
“Raids are being conducted in diara areas on suspected hideouts. Though we have not identified the gang so far, we suspect it to be the handiwork of rivals of boy’s father, who recently won the PACS elections,” the SDPO said.