Like a thriller: Bihar doctor, wife's abduction and return puzzling
The mysterious disappearance of Dr Pankaj Gupta and his wife Shubhra from the extremely busy NH 2, also known as GT Road, is matched by their equally puzzling return.india Updated: May 07, 2015 14:54 IST
The mysterious disappearance of Dr Pankaj Gupta and his wife Shubhra from the extremely busy NH 2, also known as GT Road, is matched by their equally puzzling return.
But there was so much joy in the air that nobody was in any mood to ask the unanswered questions.
Dr Gupta, a leading pediatrician in Gaya, and Shubhra were heading home from a wedding in Jharkhand's Giridih in their Audi Q3 last week on Friday when a Toyota Fortuner SUV overtook them on NH 2 and blocked their way near Barachatti.
A group of men sprang out from the vehicle, rushed to the Rs 35-lakh Audi and overpowered the stunned couple. They were slapped by the men a few times around, blindfolded and asked to move to the back seat of the vehicle, while two of the abductors sat in front.
Then the Audi ran as if there was no tomorrow. The worst nightmare of the couple had only just begun to play out.
"A beacon was fitted atop the Audi to give it a VVIP look to ensure its smooth movement through the national highway," Dr Gupta told a police officer, who talked to the couple after they reached Gaya on Wednesday, after their release.
After some time, Dr Gupta said they were offered something to drink.
"It was apparently laced with some drug as in no time, we fell asleep," recalled Dr Gupta.
As they slept, the Audi, with all the trappings of a VVIP vehicle, passed through various check posts unhindered.
When Dr Gupta and his wife regained consciousness, they found themselves in a flat with blinds fitted to the windows. It was only after their release 5 days, did they come to know that they were kept in Lucknow's posh Gomti Nagar area.
In the flat, the behavior of the abductors changed for the better. Shubhra said they never misbehaved and gave them food on time.
Though there was no official word on the circumstances surrounding their release, sources said they were freed somewhere near Kanpur -- after which they returned to Gaya on their own on Wednesday morning and went to Shubhra's parent's house. The police were informed later in the afternoon.
A senior police officer said that seven persons have been arrested in connection with the abduction, but refused to elaborate.
When the news about the arrival of the couple spread, the residence of Dr Gupta's in-laws came to life, with visitors arriving in large numbers. The eerie silence at the residence of Guptas also turned into a cacophony of celebration.
Gaya SSP Manu Maharaj and Magadh range DIG PK Srivastava were among the early visitors. They had a long chat with the couple.
At the Gupta residence, the family members were effusive in their praise for the Bihar police.
"They secured the duo's safe release. We couldn't have expected more," said one family member.
On Facebook, where people were mostly spewing venom about the bad law and order situation in the state, suddenly changed track, with a slew of congratulatory messages for 'happy news'.
"Thank God, they are back and safe," posted Ajit Agarwal.
Another wrote, "Good news for India and Bihar. Congrats to Bihar and UP government."
"Let us save Bihar from slipping into another round of jungle raj. Those days still send shiver down the spine!" wrote Pankhuri.
Dr Gupta is a popular figure in Gaya. His father KL Gupta is a businessman and is associated with Chamber of Commerce. Shubhra, too, is socially active. She is also a businesswoman and is associated with the Innerwheel Club.