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HCL engineer kidnapped from Ghaziabad, Rs 15 lakh ransom demanded

The engineer’s wife received a text message from the abductors, demanding Rs 15 lakh as ransom. The kidnappers warned her not to inform the police and threatened to kill her husband if she did.

india Updated: May 25, 2018 20:49 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghzaiabad
Engineer kidnapped,Ghaziabad,HCL
The police said Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Ghaziabad, did not reach his home till late in the night on Thursday. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

A 35-year-old engineer with HCL Technologies in Noida went missing on the night of May 23 after an office cab dropped him at the Raj Nagar Extension crossing in Ghaziabad, when he was on his way to Haridwar to celebrate his birthday. A day later, his wife received a WhatsApp message saying that he had been kidnapped; it demanded Rs 15 lakh in ransom for his release, the police said.

The police are now treating the case as kidnapping for ransom and has formed several teams to trace the missing engineer, Rajiv Kumar Singh. The police said Singh had set out from his office in sector 126 of Noida in an office cab around 11.10pm on May 23 and had opted for a drop at the Raj Nagar Extension crossing. From there, he was supposed to catch a bus to his hometown, Haridwar, to celebrate his birthday on May 24.

“The family lives at Nandgram in Ghaziabad and had gone to Haridwar. The victim was supposed to take a bus to Haridwar, but did not reach the destination. The last location of his mobile phone was at Raj Nagar Extension crossing,” a police officer who is investigating the case said.

On May 24, when Singh did not reach Haridwar, his family launched a search that proved futile. Later, they approached Sihani Gate police in Ghaziabad for help. There, they lodged a case of abduction after his wife received a message on WhatsApp from her husband’s mobile phone number that he had been kidnapped; the sender demanded Rs 15 lakh.

Singh’s wife had sent a message to him around 10.22am on May 24:“Where are u? ... everyone is upset. Son is crying. Please come soon. Where are you?”

Nearly half an hour later, she received a message that read: “15 lakh... tumhara admi kidnap ho gaya hai... kal whatsapp par baat karunga” (your husband has been kidnapped... I will chat with you tomorrow on WhatsApp). Police said the mobile was later switched off.

Rohit Kumar, the cab driver who dropped Singh at the Raj Nagar Extension crossing, said that it was the first time he had dropped off Singh.

“Earlier he used to go by other cabs but it was the first time he boarded my cab. He asked me to drop him at the crossing. I dropped him at the crossing around midnight . I had to drop three people and Rajiv was the first one to be dropped. Later I dropped the other two in Raj Nagar Extension housing societies. Later, I came to know that he had gone missing as I got a call from the police,” Rohit said.

The police are probing possible involvement of private taxis that offer a ride to passengers late in the night. In some previous instances, passengers have been robbed, and even killed.

“At present, we are trying to trace the missing man. The message on his wife’s number is also a matter of concern. The message was sent through the mobile of the victim which is now switched off. His family approached us yesterday and lodged an FIR. Several of our teams are working on the case,” said Vaibhav Krishna, senior superintendent of police, Ghaziabad.

First Published: May 25, 2018 20:46 IST