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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

DU student in Ghaziabad held for kidnapping father-daughter duo for Rs 1.3 crore

Avneet Singh Walia, the suspect, lives with his family in a highrise in Vaishali’s Sector 4. Police said Walia, who is a second year student of BCom in a DU college, was friends with the girl, who is a student of class 12 at a school in Indirapuram.

noida Updated: Sep 02, 2019 07:22 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
The Ghaziabad police Sunday evening arrested a 22-year-old student of Delhi University (DU) for allegedly kidnapping a 17-year-old girl and her 50-year-old civil engineer father and demanding ransom of Rs1.3 crore.
The Ghaziabad police Sunday evening arrested a 22-year-old student of Delhi University (DU) for allegedly kidnapping a 17-year-old girl and her 50-year-old civil engineer father and demanding ransom of Rs1.3 crore.
         

The Ghaziabad police Sunday evening arrested a 22-year-old student of Delhi University (DU) for allegedly kidnapping a 17-year-old girl and her 50-year-old civil engineer father and demanding ransom of Rs 1.3 crore. Police said the suspect was arrested after they traced the three calls which reached the victims’ family members, asking them to cough up the ransom amount for their release.

Avneet Singh Walia, the suspect, lives with his family in

a highrise in Vaishali’s Sector 4. Police said Walia, who is a second year student of BCom in a DU college, was friends with the girl, who is a student of class 12 at a school in Indirapuram.

According to the police, Walia knew that the victim family, which lives nearby in Vasundhara Sector 1, was religious and allegedly asked the two to come over on the pretext of attending a puja (prayer). He invited them to a flat in a Vasundhara Sector-3 locality, which he had taken on rent about 15 days ago.

“The father-daughter duo left their Vasundhara house at around 6.15am on Sunday and reached the fourth storey flat where they were taken hostage at gunpoint. The suspect asked them to make ransom calls. Two calls were made – one each to the man’s two sisters in Mumbai and Ranchi, and one to his wife. An amount of Rs 50 lakh each was demanded from the man’s wife and his Mumbai-based sister, who is a professor. In the third call to Ranchi, an amount of Rs 30 lakh was demanded. The police were informed by the man’s Mumbai-based sister and teams were formed to trace the suspect,” said Anshu Jain, circle officer, Indirapuram.

The police registered an FIR under Section 364a (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code and deployed electronic surveillance methods to trace the suspect.

“Walia was contacted through the victims’ family members and he was told that a token amount of Rs 5 lakh will be paid but that he should not harm the father-daughter duo. The suspect had a .32 caliber pistol along with cartridges and had also bought sleeping pills to administer them to victims to keep them hostage for a long without hassle,” said a police officer.

After being was promised the Rs 5 lakh token amount, Walia allegedly tied up both victims and exited the flat, said the police.

For handing over the bait, the police arranged for a bag which was stuffed with paper bundles. A GPS tracking device was also fitted inside.

“The suspect roamed around nearly 30 different locations in Delhi and Ghaziabad and finally told the family that he would be coming to a vacant plot near a school in Vasundhara Sector 3. There, he placed a carton in which he asked them to dump the bag of money. After picking up the bag, he went back to the flat and the police later raided the flat on the basis of the location provided by the GPS device. He was arrested around 6pm Sunday and the two hostages were released,” Jain said.

Police sources said Walia had allegedly planned the kidnapping about one month ago.

“He came in touch with the girl about one-and-a-half years ago and won the trust of her family. In a planned manner, he hired a room and called the two victims over, saying that some eminent priests had come to perform puja at his flat. After the two arrived, they were held hostage. The two were brutally beaten up by Walia so that they would call up their family members for ransom,” said an officer attached to the investigation.

During initial questioning, Walia allegedly revealed that upon seeing that the girl’s relatives are rich and well-off, he thought they would shell out money easily.

“He planned the entire incident in order to earn quick money,” Jain added. Walia’s father runs a small business, the police said.

The girl’s father said: “He pointed a gun to our heads. He beat me up severely and also kicked my daughter. He used our phones to demand ransom. He told me repeated ‘you will be dead... you will be dead’. He had called us on the pretext of attending a puja. He asked for Rs 50 lakh if we pay the same day, otherwise we would have to pay Rs 80 lakh. Likewise, he kept on telling us the hiked ransom amount. My daughter has known him since the past one-and-a-half years but I have not spoken to him ever.”

First Published: Sep 02, 2019 00:14 IST