The Mumbai Police Crime Branch Unit 12 arrested four persons,including a reporter,for allegedly kidnapping Samajwadi Party leader and PhD guide in Jhunjhunwala College,Drigesh Yadav,and his personal assistant Ashok Yadav for a ransom of Rs 5 crore.
According to the Crime Branch,the two were kidnapped on May 5,but were let off when the kidnappers realised they will not get the ransom.
Drigesh,who is also a social worker,had got a call from a person who identified himself as Rakesh Yadav,a resident of Vasai. Rakesh told Drigesh he wanted his help to acquire a property owned by his former wife. Drigesh,who refused to help initially,agreed to meet Rakesh opposite Dindoshi police station on May 5.
When Drigesh reached the said spot along with his secretary Ashok,Rakesh was waiting in his Scorpio car along with two other men. Rakesh asked Drigesh to come with him in the car. On their way to meet property dealers,Rakesh picked up two more men from Ghodbunder Road whom he introduced as his friends.
As soon as the two men entered the car,all six of them began beating the duo and drugged them. The two were then kidnapped and taken to an undisclosed location where they were kept for15 days, said Police Inspector Subhash Sawant from Crime Branch Unit 12.
Meanwhile,Drigeshs family registered a missing persons complaint with the Kurar police station. A day after they went missing,Drigeshs family received a ransom call demanding Rs 5 crore.
The police officers investigating the case said they traced the call to a village in Uttar Pradesh. After the family convinced the kidnappers they did not have the money to pay for the ransom,the duo were released at Rudna railway station on the outskirts of Surat. Once they were back,we decided to trace the kidnappers, said Sawant.
How the kidnappers were traced
The police kept a close watch on all relatives and acquaintances of Drigesh. They observed Om Prakash Mishra,a teacher and a reporter working for Drigeshs weekly magazine,enquired about the two regularly for 10 days,but stopped all of a sudden.
The police also found that Mishra had links in Virar. Police then detained Mishra who later revealed that he along with his student Sanjay Saha had planned the kidnapping. Mishra said it was through Saha that he met Dinesh Singh Rana,who introduced himself as Rakesh Yadav to Drigesh. Rana,a native of Bihar,used Sahas house as a hideout when he used to commit a crime in Bihar and then flee to Mumbai. We have arrested Saha,Mishra and Rana along with an accomplice. However,we are still tracing the person who made a ransom call from UP, added Sawant.
Where the victims were kept
The kidnapped duo were taken to the outskirts of Surat where Saha had booked a bungalow in his name. To avoid any suspicion,Saha had taken his wife and son along. The two victims were freed after the kidnappers panicked and got scared. They thought the owner of the bungalow would eventually find out, Sawant said.