Two held for abducting JNU professor, robbing him of card, cash

Updated on Jun 22, 2022 03:43 AM IST
One of the seized cars belongs to Singh while the other is owned by Shokeen. At least two more suspects, who have been identified, are still on the run, police said.
File photo of JNU administrative building.
File photo of JNU administrative building.

Three days after a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor was allegedly abducted, assaulted, confined to a house and robbed of his cash and debit cards by four men, following a road rage incident, police on Tuesday said they have arrested two men and seized two luxury cars – one in which the teacher was driven around in the city and the other that followed the first car.

Police said one of the arrested men, identified as Rajat Pal Singh alias Sonu, from west Delhi’s Tagore Garden, has a YouTube music channel. The other arrested man, Aashish Shokeen alias Monu, deals in the sale and purchase of luxury cars and is a resident of Palam Vihar in Gurugram.

One of the seized cars belongs to Singh while the other is owned by Shokeen. At least two more suspects, who have been identified, are still on the run, police said.

“Apart from the two cars, 20,000 of the total stolen money was also recovered. The duo and their two friends, who are yet to be arrested, were headed towards Saket from Rajouri Garden when the alleged road rage incident took place and they abducted, assaulted and robbed the JNU professor,” said deputy commissioner of police (west) Ghanshyam Bansal.

According to police, the abducted JNU professor was driven around for nearly 15km, through multiple roads between Delhi Cantonment Metro station and Nehru Place, and at no point were the cars stopped by the police for checking.

When contacted, the professor, Sharad Baviskar, said he had learnt that the police have arrested two persons but refused to comment on the development or further elaborate on the incident.

DCP Bansal said on June 18, the professor had dropped his wife and daughter at his in-laws’ place in Burari in north Delhi and was returning to the JNU campus in his car, when around 12.30am, near the Naraina flyover, he realised that someone was hitting his car from the left. He, however, did not stop the car, Bansal said.

“When the professor stopped his car at the next traffic signal near Delhi Cantonment Metro station, a few men got into his car and forcibly took his car keys. They bundled him into a sedan and drove around for nearly two hours through Moolchand, Greater Kailash and Ashram, before stopping at an unknown place, where they confined Baviskar to a house. They took his credit and debit cards and withdrew 28,500 from the ATM and spent 5,000 for filling petrol in their two vehicles. Thereafter, they left the professor and his car in Nehru Place and fled in their vehicles,” said Bansal.

Baviskar filed a complaint at the Vasant Kunj police station in south-west district and it was forwarded to the west district police. A case of voluntarily causing hurt, kidnapping or abduction with intent secretly, confinement, robbery and common intention was registered under Indian Penal Code sections 323, 365, 392 and 34 at the Naraina police station.

Later, a Facebook post, purportedly from Baviskar’s account, circulated on social media in which its author of the post alleged that he was called “anti-national” by his abductors, who said they did not like JNU. HT could not independently verify whether the Facebook profile belonged to Baviskar.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teacher’s Association (JNUTA) expressed solidarity with Baviskar and sought immediate efforts to apprehend the culprits and in guaranteeing the safety of Baviskar and his family.

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