The police on Monday claimed to have arrested the kingpin in the Hong Kong kidnapping case.
Manmohan Singh, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader from Machhiwara, along with advocate Gurinder Singh Dhillon and bank manager Satwinder Singh Mavi, had been abducted in Hong Kong last week. The kidnapped persons called up their families on Monday to inform them that they had been released.
The accused has been identified as Simranjeet Singh, a resident of Kaunke (Jagraon). A sum of Rs. 5 lakh was recovered from his possession. A case has been registered under sections 420, 384, 506 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against Simranjeet and three members of his gang.
Manmohan's brother Narinder Singh had informed the Khanna police about the kidnapping on Sunday.
Simranjeet had approached Manmohan a few days ago, claiming that a Hong Kong-based company was interested in buying his prime land near the Jagraon bridge in Ludhiana. He was offered Rs. 10.9 crore for the land.
Simranjeet used to call up Manmohan from Hong Kong. "Simranjeet told Manmohan that he should come to Hong Kong for striking a deal with top company officials," said Sushil Kumar, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Khanna.
Manmohan, Dhillon and Mavi left for Hong Kong on October 23. As per the police, after they reached there, Simranjeet told Manmohan to give Rs. 15 crore if he wanted to go back home to Machhiwara.
Simranjit called up Manmohan's family and told them to keep the money ready so that he could collect it when he reached Khanna on Sunday (October 27). The family gave Rs. 5 lakh and promised to pay the rest after Manmohan's release.
The family then approached the police, who formed a special investigation team. The SSP said the police asked the family to call Simranjeet to a specific place to give the rest of the money. "As soon as he arrived there, we nabbed him and later also recovered Rs. 5 lakh from him" said Sushil Kumar.
Manmohan's family asked a money exchanger to transfer Rs. 15 crore, but he refused to transfer such a big amount.
The police said three members of the gang were still at large.