Failing to clear the civil services examination last year, 27-year-old Asif Saifi started taking coaching classes in Mukherjee Nagar and also began looking for a job. But cheated on the pretext of a job and unable to repay a loan of Rs 5.5 lakh, he grew desperate. Inspired by “crime movies”, Saifi, a B.Tech graduate, allegedly abducted a five-year-old boy from outside his home in Bhajanpura, hoping to secure enough ransom to solve his financial woes, police said.
To kidnap the boy, Saifi allegedly gave Rs 100 to a youth in the locality and asked him to fetch the boy. After the abduction, he demanded Rs 20 lakh from the boy’s father. But his luck ran out when police identified him using CCTV footage.
The boy was rescued after police managed to track down the accused from Dadri bus stop, from where he had made a call using a passerby’s phone.
Police said that after failing to clear his exam, Saifi started working in a leading Greater Noida-based university, where he was teaching mechanical engineering. He was desperate for a job, but was cheated by a man who promised him government employment.
“Last week, he was looking for the man in Bhajanpura when he met the five-year-old and befriended him. He then decided to kidnap him, but realised that the child did not remember his father’s phone number. So the accused first went to the child’s home after putting on a disguise, and conned the child’s mother into parting with her husband’s number. Then, on Monday afternoon, he gave Rs 100 to a youth and asked him to call the child near an ice-cream shop, from where he kidnapped him,” a senior police officer said.
DCP (northeast) A K Singla said Saifi was preparing for UPSC and other competitive exams. “The accused had demanded Rs 20 lakh in two ransom calls. The boy’s father approached police on March 12. He reported that the boy was missing since 2 pm, and that he approached police after failing to find him in the locality,” he said.
“Police later raided the place from where the ransom call was made, and found a CCTV footage that showed Saifi with the boy. Another call was made from the cellphone of a passerby. The accused told him he had to make an emergency call,” he said.
“A team led by Inspector Vinay Yadav was stationed near the caller’s location in Dadri. We managed to track him through the call and then conducted a raid. Our team arrested him and rescued the boy, who was being taken in an auto-rickshaw,” Singla said.