A young doctor from Delhi, allegedly abducted by a cab driver on his first duty for Ola, was rescued Wednesday evening from Meerut where police traded fire briefly with those holding him captive. The 29-year-old had been missing from Preet Vihar since the night of July 6. Four persons have been arrested. Police said the men were demanding Rs 5 crore ransom from “the Ola CEO”. Police said the driver used forged documents to partner with Ola. Some of the other accused were also with Ola earlier, police said.
JCP (eastern range) Ravindra Singh Yadav told The Indian Express that police have rescued the doctor, Akkala Srikanth Goud, who hails from Jogulamba Gadwal district in Telangana, and that he is being brought to Delhi by police. “We have arrested four persons after a brief encounter, in which one of the kidnappers was injured. Our teams are conducting raids to nab the others,” Yadav said, adding that they wanted to “make a quick buck”.
“The accused had been moving and changing locations. Police tried to arrest them on Tuesday, but they were dressed as kanwariyas and managed to escape. On Wednesday evening, police received information that the doctor was being held captive at a home in Shatabdi Nagar, Meerut. Police teams surrounded the house. Following an exchange of fire, the doctor was rescued and the four accused were arrested,” police said.
Police said Srikanth works at the Metro Hospital and Cancer Institute in east Delhi. “On July 6, after completing duty, Srikanth went out with two friends for dinner at the Radisson Blu in Kaushambi. After dinner, his friends dropped him at the Preet Vihar Metro station. He went in at 10.55 pm but emerged a few minutes later. He then booked an Ola cab to go to Gautam Nagar,” a police officer said.
‘‘On July 7, when Srikanth did not report for work, one of his friends, Hemant, called him but someone else answered. Failing to trace him, Hemant lodged a complaint. In the meantime, the kidnappers made a call from Srikanth’s mobile phone to an Ola customer care number and asked for the CEO. They said they had kidnapped a man and wanted Rs 5 crore for his release,” the officer said. Pranay Jivrajka, founding partner at Ola, said they were thankful to police, and the doctor’s family and his friends for their cooperation. “We were all hopeful for his safe recovery and police have ensured that,” said Jivrajka. On the question of ransom, he said, “Since the matter is under investigation, we will share the details later.”