Delhi: Kidnappers had initially planned to loot cash from boy’s house, cops probe role of ‘insiders’
Police said no money changed hands even though the kidnappers were to collect Rs 30 lakh from Vihaan’s father, Sunny Gupta, later on Tuesday.delhi Updated: Feb 08, 2018 13:11 IST
The three men who kidnapped five-year-old Vihaan Gupta from near GTB Hospital on January 25, knew that his father had received Rs 57 lakh cash in a business deal, police said. They had initially planned to steal the money from Gupta’s house but changed their mind as they found the idea of kidnapping for ransom “more doable”, the police said.
In a meticulous operation, the Delhi Police rescued Vihaan from a Sahibabad housing society on Tuesday. One kidnapper was shot dead, another injured and a third was arrested by the police when a team stormed the flat where the child was being kept hostage.
“The kidnappers were not sure if the boy’s father had kept the cash at home or not. Since it was a big amount, they thought that the boy’s father wouldn’t part with it so easily and the robbery could turn violent. They found the idea risky as violence could have jeopardised an easy escape,” said an investigator associated with the case.
Police said no money changed hands even though the kidnappers were to collect Rs 30 lakh from Vihaan’s father, Sunny Gupta, later on Tuesday.
Investigations have said that the alleged mastermind, Nitin Kumar Sharma, was a customer of Gupta who sold plastic goods in wholesale. “Sharma ran a dhaba. He would buy disposable plates and tumblers from Gupta and frequently visited his neighbourhood (in New Modern Shahdara). It was during one of those visits that he heard about the business deal,” said Ram Gopal Naik, DCP (crime branch).
Though police continue to probe the role of insiders in the crime, so far they have not found any evidence to suggest such an eventuality, said the DCP. “The business deal was common knowledge in the neighbourhood. Local residents talked of it openly. Sharma claims he overheard it during one of his visits to the neighbourhood,” said an investigator.
Gupta said he had no reasons to suspect any employee, immediate business associates or family members. “During the ransom calls, the kidnappers did not sound like they knew about my day-to-day activities. But I will leave it to the police to decide who all were involved,” said Gupta.
Coincidentally, when the police launched a hot chase of Sharma around 10 pm on Monday, three hours before the fatal encounter-cum-rescue, they also visited Gupta’s neighbourhood. “Sharma was accompanied by two women in his Swift Dzire car. He dropped them in Gupta’s neighbourhood before driving away. We believe they were his girlfriends,” said an investigator.
The flat in Sahibabad’s Shalimar City where Vihaan was confined was frequently visited by women, neighbours had recounted. The most frequent of them was a woman in her 20s and seen in bangles worn by newly-weds. Neighbours said she would usually keep her face masked.
The police are questioning this woman to ascertain if she had any role in the crime. Though building residents had claimed that she would visit even during the 12-day kidnapping period, Sharma has denied it during interrogation. The DCP had earlier said that Sharma, a married man, had extramarital affairs with many women and would bring them to the flat where he later confined Vihaan.