Scientist goes to massage parlour he found online, gets abducted; 3 arrested
A 45-year-old junior scientist, working with a Delhi-based central government agency, who was kidnapped on Saturday, was rescued from a Noida hotel on Sunday evening. The police have arrested three people in connection with the kidnapping.
Police officers said the matter came to light Sunday evening when the victim’s wife approached them. According to her, her husband had left home around 5.30pm on Saturday saying that he was going to the Noida City Centre to buy some household items.
The family lives in a high-rise in Sector 77.
“However, he did not return. Around 10pm on Saturday, I got a call from his phone and the caller said my husband had been abducted. The caller said they wanted money in order to release my husband,” said the woman in her complaint to the police.
She alleged that later she received a call from a different phone number. A man and a woman could be heard talking, and they demanded a ransom of ₹10 lakh for my husband’s release or else they would harm him, she said.
Officers said the victim’s wife did not contact the police immediately as she was scared for her husband.
However, when she could not arrange the money, the family approached the Sector 49 police station where a case of kidnapping for ransom (Section 364a of IPC) was registered.
“Based on instructions from the commissioner, three teams were formed immediately—the Noida zone surveillance team, a crime branch team and one from Sector 49 police station. Within a few hours of the complaint, we traced the suspects, using the location of the phone from which the ransom calls were made,” said additional DCP, zone 1, Kumar Ranvijay Singh.
Police said the victim had left home in his Honda city car. After tracing the location of the phone to a hotel in Sector 41, they found the car parked nearby, officers added. “We found three men inside the victim’s car. One of them was apprehended while the other two managed to flee. The apprehended suspect was identified as Deepak Kumar (28), who is from Haryana and worked at the hotel. Based on his directions, the victim was traced to one of the rooms in the hotel,” said Singh.
The police said that the victim had several injury marks on his body when they found him. Two persons, including a woman, who had held the victim hostage, were arrested from the spot, the police said.
These were identified as 51-year-old Sunita Gujjar, a resident of Noida’s Sector 51, and 32-year-old Rakesh Kumar, who is also from Haryana. The police said Rakesh is the owner of the hotel where the victim was allegedly being held hostage.
The police said that their investigation later revealed that the victim was allegedly abducted when he had left home to visit a “massage parlour” that he had found online. His wife was not aware about the planned visit, officers added.
“The victim had looked for a massage parlour online, and found the contact number for one in Noida. He came in touch with a man in this regard and the latter asked him to meet at the City Centre on Saturday. However, when the victim reached there, he was asked to follow the man to the hotel where he was instead kept hostage,” a police officer, on condition of anonymity, said.
According to a press statement by the police, the victim had allegedly been lured by the woman and her associates before they asked him to meet. Police said this allegedly was the modus operandi of the gang, which has been involved in multiple extortion cases.
“We have found the involvement of the gang in at least two to three cases of extortion so far. The gang has been active for the past four or five years, and a search is on for their other associates. According to our initial investigation, no other women, apart from Sunita, seem to be a part of the operation,” said Singh.
According to sources, Sunita is associated with the women’s wing of a political party, though police officers said that this is claim has not been verified yet.
The police said that some electronic devices and a few documents incriminating the suspects in the operation were allegedly seized during the probe, apart from the victim’s car.
The suspects were produced before a magistrate and later sent to jail.
The police team which rescued the victim was rewarded a prize of ₹5 lakh from Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary (home) Awanish Awasthi.
Police said the victim was rescued the victim within a few hours of receiving the complaint. Teams had been deployed at border areas, as part of which search operations, and suspicious vehicles were checked. Nearly a dozen police personnel in civil clothes had been involved in the raid and surveillance in Sector 41 hotel, the police said.
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