A fraudulent investment scheme led two groups of men to engage in kidnapping attempts in Palghar district in a bid to get the money back.
On October 15, Nirap Vishwakarma of Vapi in Gujarat was allegedly lured to the forests of Kasa in Palghar by four men who claimed that he could instantly double his money by participating in a black magic ritual. However, after blindfolding and tying up Vishwakarma, the men fled with Rs 2.4 lakh that he had brought along with him.
After Vishwakarma managed to free himself, he got an FIR registered against the four men at Kasa police station.
Over the next two weeks, Vishwakarma identified Suresh Kakad, a resident of Mokhada in Palghar, as the main culprit.
He then set up a meeting with Kakad at Kasa, the police said. On Sunday, Vishwakarma and his three companions forced Kakad to sit in their car, drove him deep into the forest and beat him up, said Palghar SP Dattatray Shinde.
They also made a phone call to Kakad’s son Bhaskar and threatened to kill his father if did not return the money.
Once Kakad was allowed to go, he filed a complaint of his own at Kasa police station.
On Monday, in order to avenge his father’s kidnapping, Bhaskar and his four accomplices allegedly accosted Vishwakarma’s friend Govind Vadhu while he was travelling from Palghar to his home
in neighbouring Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The police said that the accused forcibly seated Vadhu on a motorcycle and rode towards Jawhar taluka. When they passed by a police chowki, Vadhu began to shout for help and jumped off the vehicle. A policeman came to his aid and caught two of his kidnappers with the help of local residents. The police later located the three other men accused of plotting to kidnap Vadhu.
“Many people living in the interiors of Palghar float schemes that claim to double the money by performing black magic rituals,” said a Palghar police officer.
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