POLICE TEAMS from West Bengal and Jharkhand are searching for a Burdwan resident, who went missing on August 25 after he met two persons through OLX, an online sell-cum-purchase platform, to sell his Maruti Ertiga car.
The car was found abandoned on the outskirts of Ranchi, 400 km from Burdwan, near the highway on Saturday evening, with its front seats partially burnt and the rear windshield broken.
“On August 25, Mohammad Taskeen (26) had accompanied the two persons, who had come to buy his car, for a test drive. Taskeen, however, did not return. His mobile phone was found switched off,” said Anumitro Das, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Asansol-Durgapur).
“The family has not yet received any ransom call, and the suspects have not been identified. Our team has gone to Ranchi to probe further,” he said, adding that the CCTV footage from Taskeen’s neighbourhood is being scanned.
According to Jharkhand Police, there was evidence of attempts being made to burn the car’s seats. “There was no major damage in the car. However, some parts in the front portion of the car were burnt. It seems that the suspects had some ulterior motives and things went wrong,” said Raj Kumar Lakra, Superintendent of Police (Ranchi Rural).
A police officer involved in the probe did not rule out that Takseen could have been killed.
“The entire car has not been set afire. There is also no evidence of any mechanical fault leading to fire. It is possible that the suspects tried to get rid of the evidence of foul play and make it look like a case of accidental fire. However, nothing can be confirmed unless a thorough probe is completed,” the officer added.
Initial investigations have revealed that Taskeen’s father, a driver in SAIL in Durgapur, had retired a couple of months ago. Taskeen had reportedly completed his engineering from a private college in Nagpur and was preparing for job examinations. His family told the police that Taskeen did not have enmity with anyone.