Maharashtra: 22-year-old vegetable trader rescued from Dharavi hut, abductors turn out to be friends

Dongri resident Mofijun Rahamatullah Mondal went missing around 8.30 pm on February 3 from near a godown where his three brothers run a wholesale vegetable business.

Written by MEGHNA PRAKASH | Mumbai | Published:February 8, 2017 3:54 am

The Mumbai Police on Monday night rescued a 22-year-old man from a hut in Dharavi, three days after he went missing from Dongri, where his brothers run a vegetable business. The kidnappers turned out to be friends of the victim who were impatient to make a quick buck and, ironically, supposed to become his business partners in the coming weeks, the police said.

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Dongri resident Mofijun Rahamatullah Mondal went missing around 8.30 pm on February 3 from near a godown where his three brothers run a wholesale vegetable business. One of the accused, Mohammad Shahanshah Samsood Rain (19), a friend of Mofijun, offered him a glass of lassi spiked with sedatives, police said. “When Mofijun woke up, he found himself in a hut in Dharavi, bound and gagged, forced to urinate and defecate there,” said Manoj Kumar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone I.

The victim’s brother, Mustafa Mondal, lodged a complaint with the police after being unable to contact his brother. The police said he soon received a call from Mofijun’s mobile phone. The caller asked for a ransom of Rs 7 lakh to free Mofijun. Meanwhile, the accused — Mohammad Shamiullah Ilyas Shaikh, Alam, Rain, Mohammad Firoz Rain and Mukesh Kumar Sahani — made calls to Mustafa, directing him to pay the ransom soon.

Sharma said at first the family was instructed to bring the money to Reay Road, then Wadala, then King’s Circle and finally told to keep it in the luggage compartment of a CST-bound local train. The family refused, saying they would pay it to the kidnappers directly when Mofijun was freed.

After Mustafa refused to pay the ransom, the police feared the kidnappers would make good on their threat to kill Mofijun, but they called again. “The caller knew in great detail the Mondals’ house, which he could have only known as a friend of victim. We suspected someone close to the brothers was involved,” Sharma said.

An officer said the police matched locations from where the ransom calls were made with those from a cellphone belonging to one of Mustafa’s friends under suspicion.

The police then tracked the accused to a Dharavi hut at 9 pm on Monday night. Sharma said Mofijun and two accused were found inside the hut.

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