A musician from Amritsar who failed to make the grade, a drug addict from Bathinda and a dhaba owner from Patiala were arrested by Chandigarh Police on Saturday for kidnapping a 19-year-old Hisar youth from his paying guest accommodation in Sector 21 on February 2 (Tuesday) and for demanding a ransom of Rs 2 crore. The accused had befriended the victim around two months before the crime and had taken him to Rama Mandi in Bathinda from where he managed to escape on February 3.
The accused have been identified as Rohit Sharma alias Shera (30), the mastermind who hails from Amritsar; Gagandeep Singh alias Gagni (20), a resident of Peer Kot village in Bathinda and Gurvinder Singh alias Mithu (27), a resident of Harchand Pura village in Patiala. The victim has been identified as Rajatpal Singh.
Assistant superintendent of police Guriqbal Singh Sidhu said the mastermind Rohit had run up a debt of Rs 35 lakh due to his failed investment in a company called SS Music and his initial target for kidnap was somebody else — Mansa resident Navjot Singh.
Sharma had known Navjot from his school days in Akal Academy, Patiala, where he (Sharma) had taken up a driver’s job.
Now, after several years Sharma again befriended Navjot on Facebook after hatching the kidnap conspiracy, around two months ago.
The accused started visiting Navjot at his PG and befriended his roommates Rajatpal Singh, 19, and Maninder Singh (23).
It was at this stage that Shar ma decided to target Rajatpal, as he also seemed to be from a well-off family and had bragged that he was the son of a landlord and also revealed that he wanted to be model. Sharma then boasted that he was running a company and was in regular touch with stars that made Rajatpal trust him.
The day of the crime
On February 2 (Tuesday), the trio asked the victim to accompany them to Aroma Hotel. From there, they bundled him into Sharma’s Honda Mobilio with an Amritsar registration number and left the city. Near Kharar, Rajatpal sensed that something was wrong and resisted. Here, Sharma assaulted him with a sharp-edged weapon.
The hatching of the conspiracy
Inspector Gurjeet Kaur said Sharma — already facing 12 criminal cases of theft, robbery and NDPS in Bathinda — was in touch with Gagni, a resident of district Bathinda, through Gagni’s uncle and he knew that Gagni was a drug addict and thus lured him into the crime.
Sharma also lured the third accused Gurvinder Singh on promise of riches. Gurvinder also had a loan to repay.
T he accused have been remanded in three-day police custody.
During interrogation, the accused have told the police that Navjot was their target for kidnapping.
The three have been booked under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 364-A (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector 19 police station.