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Man kidnapped in own Mercedes: Kidnappers spoke Punjabi, were desperate for money

A day after a 36-year-old businessman was abducted in his car from outside a Sector-9 gym, cops register a case.

punjab Updated: Feb 23, 2018 09:35 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Man kidnapped,kidnapped in own Mercedes,Abductors spoke Punjabi
A forensic expert collecting clues from Harpreet Singh’s Mercedes car that was found abandoned near the Kali Bari traffic lights in Chandigarh on Thursday night. (Karun Sharma/HT)

The three men who abducted a 36-year-old businessman in his own Mercedes car from outside a Sector-9 gym on Wednesday night had been keeping a track of his movement for days.

The victim, Harpreet Singh, son of the owner of Shri Gurudev Photography, Sector 17, is learnt to have told the police that the kidnappers asked him why he skipped gym on Tuesday, indicating that the trio had been following Harpreet closely and were aware of his paying capacity.

After abducting Harpreet, a resident of Sector 10, Chandigarh, and driving him around the city and Mohali, the accused had let him go after his cousin handed them Rs 3 lakh in ransom. They had dropped him outside Elante Mall before fleeing in his Mercedes car, which was later found abandoned at the Kali Bari lightpoint with its ignition still on.

In his statement to the police, Harpreet said the three men conversed and issued him instructions in Punjabi, and appeared desperate for money.

Investigators said the CCTV cameras near the gym, Elante mall and Goel Enterprise failed to capture the faces of the accused.

Narrating the traumatic sequence of events, Harpreet claimed the trio, brandishing a gun, forcibly sat in his car as he stepped out of Bodyzone gym, Sector 9, around 8:30pm.

After driving off with him in his car, they demanded he call up his father and arrange for Rs 2 crore for his release. However, Harpreet refused to call his father citing his ill health and inability to raise such a huge amount.

Intent on getting something from him, the kidnappers negotiated on the ransom amount, following which Harpreet shared his ability to arrange Rs 25 lakh through friends and cousins.

While Harpreet contacted his friends and cousins, the accused continued to drive him around on city roads, before heading to Mohali. After some calls, he could manage Rs 3 lakh through a cousin.

“The kidnappers appeared desperate for money, and asked me to call my cousin to Elante mall with the Rs 3 lakh. We reached the mall around 10pm. The trio collected the money and forced me out of the car at the mall’s gate number 3, before escaping with my car,” he alleged.

After his release, he immediately sounded the police, who launched a search for his car, and found it abandoned near Goel Enterprise, Industrial Area Phase 2, near Kali Bari traffic lights. The car’s ignition and headlights were on.

Harpreet Singh

Acting on his statement, police have registered a case under Sections 364A (kidnapping for ransom) and 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Arms Act at the Industrial Area police station.

CCTV cameras fail to give clues, accused fled in auto

Investigators said the CCTV cameras near the gym, Elante mall and Goel Enterprise failed to capture the faces of the accused. However, a security guard at Goel Enterprise told the police of having seen two people deserting the vehicle and hailing an auto-rickshaw in hurry.

Working on various angles, police so far suspect the involvement of a gang from Punjab. But have yet to make a breakthrough in the case.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 09:35 IST