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Kidnapping of hotelier’s son: Former sarpanch remanded in 5-day police custody

Police said that the Volkswagen Polo car used in the crime was bearing a fake number plate of a scooter.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Ludhiana, Ludhiana
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 10:04 PM IST

Former Malluwal Baniya village sarpanch, one of the accused in the kidnapping of the two-year-old son of the owner of Keys Hotels, was produced before a local court on Thursday that sent him to a five-day police custody.

Police on Wednesday had arrested former Malluwal Baniya village sarpanch, Rachhpal Singh, for kidnapping the toddler.

Police said that the Volkswagen Polo car used in the crime was bearing a fake number plate of a scooter.

The police suspected that the other accused had stolen or robbed the car, around 12 days ago before committing the crime and parked it at Singh’s house to hide the vehicle.

The police are trying to trace the owner of the car.

The toddler’s father, Pankaj Gupta, a hotelier and realtor, informed the police that their driver, Harjinderpal, had taken his son for a spin in their Maruti Suzuki Swift car but had not returned. Later, the kidnappers demanded 4 crore for their son’s release.

According to the police, the accused had abandoned the Maruti Swift car at the highway near Moga, where Rachhpal Singh was waiting for them in the Volkswagen Polo car. However, after the police launched an intensive search, the kidnappers abandoned the boy in the Volkswagen Polo near Dagru Railway crossing.

A hunt is on for the arrest of his brother Lal Singh, driver Harjinderpal Kumar and Sukhdev Singh alias Sukha.

The police also revealed that after kidnapping the boy, accused Harjinderpal along with his two accomplices had left for his house in Manakwal village at around 3 pm.

Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP, city 2) Jaskiranjit Singh Teja said that Harjinderpal is the main conspirator and it is suspected that he had procured the Volkswagen Polo car to kidnap the boy.

Harjinder was a habitual offender and had been facing trial in five criminal cases — including kidnapping, robberies and forgery in Fazilka, Sirhind, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

Pankaj Gupta said that though Harjinderpal was very punctual, he was frequently seen talking to someone over the phone. Gupta said that when asked, he never got a straight answer from him.

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