The family of a 16-year-old boy, who has been missing since the past two months, received a ransom call from unidentified persons on Tuesday.
The kidnappers allegedly gave the family a bank account number and asked them to transfer the ransom amount to that account in view of the ongoing cash crisis.
The police said Mani Bhushan Choudhary’s son Vicky went missing from outside their house in Nyay Khand-1, Indirapuram, on October 6.
Choudhary lodged a complaint at the Indirapuram police station on October 10. He said Vicky is mentally challenged since birth and, hence, does not go to school.
“We had been looking for our son for the past two months and were also worried about his well-being. Since Sunday, I started getting calls from an unidentified number. In the first call on Sunday, the kidnappers told me that my son is healthy. In their second call on Monday, they asked me to arrange ₹50,000 to ensure the safe return of my son,” said Choudhary, who is a fruit seller.
On Tuesday, he again received a call from the kidnappers. They gave him a bank account number and asked him to transfer the ransom amount to that account.
“I told the kidnappers that I do not have such a huge amount with me and, moreover, since the old notes have been banned, I have deposited all my cash in the bank. To this, the kidnappers said I should transfer the whole amount to their bank account,” said Choudhary, who has two younger daughters as well.
Choudhary again went to the Indirapuram police station on Tuesday to inform the police about the calls.
“The kidnappers have warned me against going to the police. However, all relatives and neighbours suggested that I should inform them and, hence, I gave another written complaint on Tuesday,” he said.
According to the police, the bank account number given to the victim has been traced to Meerut and the mobile number has been put on surveillance.
“We have added Section 364 A (kidnapping for ransom) apart from Section 363 (punishment for kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code in the FIR,” said Anil Kumar Yadav, circle officer, Indirapuram police station.
He added that all calls made to Choudhary are from two different numbers, which were switched off when the police tried calling them.
“Teams have been sent to Meerut to trace the kidnappers and the location will be revealed once the mobile number, which is on surveillance, is switched on,” Yadav said.
According to Choudhary, since Tuesday, he has not received any call from the kidnappers. Choudhary hails from Shamli and does not have any relative or acquaintance in Meerut, he said.