Four get life terms in abduction case
A Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court has sentenced to life imprisonment four members of an inter-state gang of kidnappers.
Hailing from Valsad in Gujarat, the four were convicted of abducting two Delhi youths after luring them with roles in mega-serial and demanding a ransom of Rs 1 crore.
Rajesh Dhodi, Ramesh Kharwa, Sartaj Khan Pathan and Majahar Nasir Shaikh are those convicted of abducting Prashant Rana and his brother-in-law Pradip Solanki.
Designated Judge M.P. Kukade also imposed a fine of Rs 5.5 lakh on each of the convicted. One of the convicted, Shaikh, was also allegedly involved in the murder of an undertrial, John D’souza, inside Arthur Road jail in December 2006.
The gang had in September 2004 issued an advertisement in an English daily in the city, offering roles in an upcoming mega-serial. Rana and Solanki responded to it and both sent their bio-data and photographs.
After the gang had contacted them and called them to the city, Rana and Solanki landed at the airport on October 21, 2004. They were received by Dhodi and taken first to Ghodbunder Road connecting Thane and Borivli and then to some unknown location in Gujarat at gunpoint. They were confined to a room at Khandhaar.
The abductors made ransom call their victims’ families in Delhi. But the police got wind of the gang’s activities, raided the house where the Delhi men were kept and freed them. The four were arrested and handed over to the city police as a case had been registered at Santacruz police station.