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2 mobiles, fake ID but real photo: How cops caught Snapdeal abductor

Officials grew suspicious after noticing that the volume of calls between two mobile numbers spiked during the hours Sarna went missing.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2016 12:31 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Prime accused Devendra Kumar (right in green pullover) and accomplice Mohit were two of five arrested for the abduction of Snapdeal executive Dipti Sarna.(Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

Two mobile phone numbers among 100,000 scanned by police with frequent calls between them and registered to identity cards with the same photograph was what led investigators to Devendra Kumar, who allegedly abducted Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna.

Officials grew suspicious after noticing that the volume of calls between the numbers spiked during the hours Sarna went missing. Police also found out the same photograph was used on both identity cards.

Read more: Snapdeal case: Abductor is one of Haryana’s most wanted criminals

“The same photograph of the prime accused was on two IDs. How could a person be talking to himself frequently? This made us suspicious,” said a police officer.

Police showed the photograph on the IDs to Sarna, who immediately identified the man as Kumar, her abductor.

He took the trouble of procuring two fake identity cards but used his real photograph on both of them.

Police tracked the mobile numbers that led them to Sonepat’s Kami village, where Kumar hails from.

Watch: Snapdeal employee kidnapper reveals chilling details

“The mobiles got switched off in Kami village and later one got switched on at Khoda in Ghaziabad. Analysis revealed the mobile’s location was persistent at Khoda for several months. When police teams zeroed on the man in Khoda, he revealed fake names during interrogation. But one of his aides revealed his identity during hard questioning,” the officer said.

Until then, police were clueless as they had limited their search to Morti village, Sarna’s last known location. They questioned 150 auto drivers near Vaishali Metro Station but couldn’t narrow down the suspects list.

Kumar was infatuated with Sarna and stalked her for over a year since he first saw her at the Rajiv Chowk Metro station in central Delhi. He abducted Sarna with a plan of whisking her away to Kathmandu and marrying her but let her go unharmed, hoping to impress her by being the savior.

Read more: Snapdeal exec abductor wanted to whisk Dipti away to Kathmandu

“I wanted to leave the world of crime and wanted to live an ordinary life. I had developed a very possessive liking for her due to her sweet voice and the type of clothes she wore. But I did not know her name and never spoke to her,” an officer quoted Kumar as saying.

“During the abduction, I told her her friend would murder her in order to make her rely on me.”

The 30-year-old “psycopath” entered the world of crime in 2001 when he beat up a constable in his village and snatched his bike.

Since then, Kumar has been involved in 30 cases related to murder, abduction and robbery in Haryana.

“He holds a ‘Dabang’ like figure in his village (Kami in Sonipat) and recently settled a land deal between two men where he earned Rs 5 lakh. From this amount, he also purchased the two autos to pursue his dreams to marry Dipti,” a police officer, attached to investigation, said.

Kumar reportedly told police he moved to Ghaziabad and purchased two autos, thinking Sarna would board his auto once.

“The plan came to mind when the tyre of my auto got punctured and my passengers sat in another auto. On the day of the abduction, I got her auto tyre punctured with an instrument and she boarded my auto,” an officer quoted Kumar as saying.

But the plan hit a hitch right away when the tyres of a Maruti Swift car in which Kumar and his accomplices were supposed to escape got punctured by the same instrument.

First Published: Feb 16, 2016 11:46 IST