No ransom paid for couple from Bihar, nine kidnappers arrested in Lucknow
In a joint operation on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh STF, Lucknow police and Bihar Police arrested a gang of nine kidnappers from an apartment in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar area, for the abduction of a doctor couple. Pankaj Gupta and his wife Shubhra were kidnapped from Bihar’s Gaya district on May 1.
However, the abductors had already released the couple, who did not pay any ransom, around 2 am on Wednesday, claimed the STF officials.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called up his UP counterpart Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday to thank him for his efforts in the release of the couple. The accused — all belonging to different districts of Bihar – have been identified as Ajay Singh, Mritunjay Kumar, Betu Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Amit Singh, Sunil, Amit Kumar, Shrawan Kumar and Anil Singh.
According to the STF, leading paediatrician Dr Pankaj and his wife were held captive at flat No. 906 of Shardha Apartment in Gomti Nagar Extension area since they were kidnapped. After the arrest, the police teams recovered the couple’s Audi car and two other Toyota SUVs from the same apartment premises. Also police uniforms with badges of Jharkhand and Bihar police, red and blue beacons, five pistols and 42 cartridges were recovered from the flat.
According to Inspector General, STF, Sujeet Pandey, they conducted the operation around 2 pm Wednesday after Patna zone IG confirmed that the couple had reached Gaya by a train.
He added that gang leader Ajay claimed to have taken the flat on rent from one Gaurav Sharma, but could not give details on his profession or where he lived. The information collected so far revealed that Ajay was wanted in different criminal cases from Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. He had kidnapped a Jaipur-based jeweller’s wife Sumedha in 2013 and had collected a ransom of Rs 2.5 crore, police said.
Gaya SP (city) Rakesh Kumar who was leading the team from Bihar said Dr Gupta — who runs a clinic in Gaya — was returning home with his wife in their Audi from Jharkhand’s Giridih after attending a wedding. When they had reached Baarachatti area in Archatti police station in Gaya, the gang of kidnappers in police uniform intercepted the couple’s car in a beacon-fitted Fortuner. Then, Gupta and his wife were forced to get into the SUV at gunpoint. While one of the kidnappers drove the Audi, others held the couple in the Fortuner and left for Lucknow, he added.