In order to buy a new flat and repay his loan, a 32-year-old man, along with his four associates, allegedly kidnapped his 17-year-old cousin and demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore from his uncle. However, when the boy’s father approached police, the accused grew scared and threw him into a canal in Muradnagar.
Police have arrested the main accused, Pankaj, and his associates, Naseemuddin, Mursaleem, Shoaib and Salman. They are looking for the body.
According to police, Sahil Mehra went missing on Tuesday evening. His father, Santram Mehra, approached police and said his son had been kidnapped.
“Sahil had gone to a park near his home in Nand Nagri but did not return. At 10.10 pm, the father received a call from an unknown number, saying his son had been kidnapped. The men demanded money in exchange for his release. The father suspected that the kidnappers were aware that he had recently made money from a business deal,” said a senior police officer.
The father owns three shops — a tour and travel agency, a money exchange unit and a mobile store — in Karol Bagh, police added.
Police registered an FIR and formed teams under the supervision of Inspectors Vinay Yadav and V K Sharma.
“Using technical surveillance, police found that the ransom call was made from Ghaziabad’s Dasna. Police traced the number to a man, who said he had given the SIM to his neighbour, Naseemuddin. Police tracked down Naseemuddin and arrested him. He disclosed Pankaj’s location, following which he was arrested. The others were nabbed as well,” said a police officer.
During questioning, Pankaj told police that he and his associates hatched the plan two months ago and decided to split the ransom amount.
“Pankaj took Sahil near an ATM in GTB Nagar, where his associates were waiting. He asked Sahil to go with them, saying he would join them later. The four offered the boy a cold-drink laced with sedatives and he fell unconscious. When Sahil didn’t return home, Pankaj accompanied his uncle to the station. He also gave code words to his associates — ‘P’ for police, and ‘M’ if he wanted his cousin to be killed,” said the officer.
Minutes after Santram approached police, Pankaj texted the four, saying police had been informed. “He later sent a message, with the codeword ‘M’. His associates dumped Sahil in the canal while he was still unconscious, said police.
“Pankaj lived with his uncle as he knew he was rich. A few months ago, he was arrested for allegedly consuming liquor in a public place,” said the officer.