Kharar student freed from clutches of honey-trap gang in 48 hours

Published on Aug 20, 2022 03:18 AM IST

Three gang members, including a woman, arrested; had demanded ₹50 lakh as ransom from victim’s parents after kidnapping him from Kharar, where they held him captive at a flat

Ropar Range DIG Gurpreet Singh Bhullar addressing the media regarding the rescue and arrests in Mohali on Friday. (HT Photo)
Ropar Range DIG Gurpreet Singh Bhullar addressing the media regarding the rescue and arrests in Mohali on Friday. (HT Photo)
By, Mohali

A 20-year-old youth who was kidnapped from Kharar on Wednesday after being honey trapped was rescued from a flat in the town’s Ranjit Nagar in less than 48 hours.

Three members of the honey trap gang, including a woman, who had demanded 50 lakh as ransom, were arrested from the flat, said police.

Anti-gangster task force (AGTF) and Ropar Range DIG Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said police teams safely rescued the victim, identified as Hitesh Bhumla, who was held captive in sedated condition at a rented accommodation in Ranjit Nagar.

Hailing from Ludhiana, Bhumla is a student of bachelor of engineering at Chandigarh University, Gharuan, and lives in a hostel on the university campus. His father is a manager at a private firm in Ludhiana.

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“After receiving the ransom call, Bhumla’s parents had alerted the police on Wednesday. Acting promptly, police registered a case under Sections 364-A (kidnapping for ransom, etc) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of the Indian Penal Code at the Kharar Sadar police station, and an intelligence-led operation was immediately initiated,” Bhullar said.

He said a team led by DSP Gursher Singh, CIA in-charge inspector Shiv Kumar, along with teams of CIA, Kurukshetra, traced the victim to the Kharar flat in less than 48 hours and rescued him in the wee hours of Friday. “Police teams from Ambala, Haridwar and Ghaziabad were also active in identifying and nabbing the accused,” he added.

Those arrested were identified as Ajay Kadian, 25, of Jattal village, Panipat, Haryana; Ajay, 22, of Aabood village, Sirsa, Haryana; and Rakhi of Baroli village, Sonepat, Haryana.

Police also recovered a Honda City, five mobile phones and a .32-bore pistol, along with nine bullets, from their possession.

Lured victim through fake social media profiles

Mohali SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said investigation revealed that accused Rakhi made fake profiles on Instagram and Facebook to befriend the youth and lure him into meeting her. “When he arrived to meet her in Kharar on Wednesday, she, along with her accomplices, kidnapped him and made a ransom call to his parents for his release,” he said.

The SSP said the gang would hunt for rich college students on social media and target them for quick money.

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