Inspired by movies and TV shows, the 17-year-old son of a Faridabad-based jeweller, along with three of his friends, staged his own kidnapping earlier this week, demanding a ransom of Rs 4 lakh from his parents, with which he intended to “go on a holiday”, police said. The four boys —all minors — were caught by the police Saturday.
According to police, the accused had gone “missing” while on his way to tuition classes in the city’s NIT area on Wednesday evening. His parents were alerted about his “kidnapping” the same night, when his father received a message from his son’s phone, demanding the ransom for his release. His parents approached Faridabad police, while the teenager and his three friends headed to Delhi.
Over the next 48 hours, the four boys made multiple ransom calls to the teen’s father, directing him to travel to different places in Delhi and Noida to hand over the cash, even as they remained holed up in a hotel in the capital. Despite the jeweller turning up at the decided locations, the boys never appeared to collect the cash.
“During questioning, they revealed they were too scared to come and collect the money. They first called the jeweller to the Badarpur border Metro station but got cold feet at the last minute. They then asked him to come with the cash to AIIMS in Delhi, but the same thing happened again,” said Vikram Kapoor, DCP (NIT).
The boys later called the jeweller to Kashmiri Gate, after which they changed the location to Kale Khan bus stand, followed by Chattarpur Mandir, Noida Expressway and Anand Vihar bus stand.
“They kept contacting his father from the boy’s mobile and asked him to meet them at different locations, making him travel all over Delhi and Noida,” said the DCP.
At one point, the teenagers also made a video call with the jeweller, wherein his son could be seen lying at the feet of his three friends.
“We started checking CCTV footage at all major Metro stations after we were alerted about the boy’s disappearance. He was finally captured on a CCTV camera at Tughlakabad Metro station. The footage indicated he was alone,” said Sube Singh, PRO of Faridabad police.
Pursuing the lead, police succeeded in retrieving the teenager from inside a train at Neelam Chowk Metro station early Saturday morning. Of his friends, two were apprehended from Bulandshahr and the third from NIT 2.
“We suspected the boy was staging his own kidnapping, especially since all calls were coming from his phone. After we found him, he admitted that he had made the plan because he wanted to go on a holiday with his friends,” said DCP Kapoor. “All four boys have been reunited with their families.”