The abductors of Lucknow businessman Ashok Agarwal,who was rescued on Tuesday night had detained the victim at various spots in Hardoi district.
To mislead the police,they themselves moved around Delhi,Ghaziabad,Noida and Haryana,making calls along the way.
Two of the key players in the crime Vijay Dwivedi and his brother Ajay kept moving in and around Delhi to mislead the police. But,the location of their cellphones actually helped us trace them, said Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police (Law & Order) Raghuvir Lal,who headed the operation.
After Vijay made a call on the morning of March 22 from a public telephone booth in Delhi,the police traced the location of the booth and then scanned the calls made from cellphones in that area. An odd number belonging to eastern UP was found on the list and the police later discovered that the SIM was purchased from a shop in Shriram Tower complex in Hazratganj two days before the kidnapping. The SIM was procured against fake identity documents,said a police officer and it turned out that Vijay was using the phone.
While Vijay chalked out the details of the kidnapping,Agrawals former driver Pramod had aided them,divulging Ashoks whereabouts, said Lal.
Vijays accomplices Sanjay and Pankaj Verma were involved in the crime while Manoj Lal of Sandila provided a hideout to detain the victim, he added.
According to Lal,the Indica used is owned by a travel agency located in Charbagh,which the gang stole from Barabanki two days before the abduction.
Recalling the trauma of being detained for four days,Ashok said: After being picked up by the abductors,who were posing as policemen,I was first taken to a village on Chandrika Devi Temple Road in Bakshi ka Talab on March 20. They blindfolded me and tied me up. I was taken to three different houses and was forced to walk through thickets for over 15 minutes. The miscreants,he said,assaulted him on the third day,but they never discussed money with him and did not allow him to talk to his family.
Though the police claimed to have caught the criminals from Itaunja,the mastermind Vijay gave a different version of events. He told police that he and his brother Ajay had travelled to Bareilly,Ghaziabad,Delhi and Haryana from where he made the ransom call to Agrawals brother. Vijay and Ajay stayed at a Kanpur hotel on March 23,from where they were caught the next morning. The police had asked them to send an SMS and summon Pramod and Sanjay to a particular location in Sandila,from where they were caught around 7.30 pm on Tuesday. Agrawal was later was rescued from a rented house at Garhi Kalyanpur village in the same area.
Over seven cases including that of murder are pending against Vijay and Ajay in Sitapur,said Lal.