When business took a hit and Kapurthala’s Jaspal Singh was forced to pick up a small job, it affected his son, Parvinder Shelly (18), the most. The teenager was used to better lifestyle.
His family properties sold off, Class12 results due, and his future looking bleak, Parvinder thought he had only one hope left — Rs 30 lakh to go abroad. He planned a kidnapping that ended up in the murder of his first cousin, Jaskirat “Jassi” (14), his younger uncle’s son.
Jaskirat’s father, Narinder Singh, has a flourishing manufacturing business in Kapurthala, and paying Rs 30 lakh to save his son’s life would be nothing for him, thought Parvinder. He shared the plan with his friends Rajwinder and Arshdeep — both barely out of school — and they became partners in crime.
Fed on a daily dose of ‘Crime Patrol’ — a crime-based television programme — Parvinder planned it for a month. Jaskirat went for Class-10 tuition and he would kidnap him on the way. Picking up Jaskirat was easy. On April 11, he got him on his scooter on the pretext of taking him to his girlfriend. Easier was to get the boy into a car where the three friends strangulated him. Police found the body on April 13. To make the ransom call, the kidnappers snatched a labourer’s mobile phone.
On April 20, a few days after the murder of Jaskirat, Class-6 boy Aryan Kansal (11) was kidnapped from Jaitu town. He came home five days later after the family paid a huge ransom, reportedly. Later, police arrested his mother’s cousin, Shiv Kumar Goyal, as alleged mastermind.
Shiv, also the victim’s neighbour and, had picked up a gambling debt of Rs 70 lakh, to repay which he kidnapped the child. The victim’s mother, Usha, is in the excise department, while her husband, Sandeep Kansal, is a jeweller. Minutes after the kidnapping, the family received a ransom demand for Rs 1 crore.
FIRST COUSIN, LAST SUSPECT
On April 28, Ranjit Singh, sarpanch of Jagraon’s Dhaipai village in Ludhiana district was kidnapped and let off the next day after his family paid Rs 30 lakh ransom. Police traced the crime to his first cousin, Mandeep. Ranjit Singh’s NRI brother, Hardeep Singh was asked to pay Rs 1.5 crore but the final cost of freedom was Rs 30 lakh.
After his arrest, Mandeep told police that he used to till Hardeep’s 17 acres on lease and knew that the NRI had made big money in the deal for that land in February. Mandeep had Rs 40-lakh loan to repay.
All relatives, friends, or neighbours involved in kidnapping had the advantage of inside information. In kidnapping cases, family and friends are the first people police have begun to suspect. It’s a starting trend, they say.
On May 4 Shanvi Gupta (7) kidnapped on her way to school with her twin sister and mates. A motorcycle-borne man pulled her off the rickshaw after failing to lure her with a chocolate. He put her into a waiting car and the gang got away.
It released the girl six hours later, after the family paid a huge ransom reportedly, though police and the parents deny it. A few days later engineering graduate Deepak Kumar ‘Deepa’ and an alleged accomplice were arrested in the case.
Plumbing contractor Deepak used to buy material from the shop of Sanvi’s father, Amit Gupta.
On June 15, property dealer Mohinder Kumar Kala (50) was kidnapped in Jalandhar after leaving house on a motorcycle in the morning. While four of the kidnappers were arrested 12 hours later, two fled. One of them was Vikas Jolly, Mohinder’s friend, who knew all about his deals and how much money he had made.