Just over a fortnight after the Vikas Dubey shootout and encounter, the Kanpur police finds itself in the dock over an abduction, with the person who was kidnapped dead and the family accusing police of facilitating a ransom exchange.
On Friday, ASP (Kanpur South) Aparna Gupta, Deputy SP Manoj Kumar Gupta, plus eight other personnel of Barra Police Station, were suspended. Last week, SHO Ranjit Rai had been suspended as the family alleged inaction on the matter despite Sanjit Yadav (27) having gone missing nearly a month ago, and despite having paid Rs 30 lakh as ransom.
The state government ordered the suspensions on Friday, after five arrests were made in the case, and the accused reportedly confessed to killing Yadav soon after the abduction. The police said the five, including two who used to work with Yadav, had denied receiving any ransom. “Investigation into the family’s claim that they paid ransom is still on,” Inspector General, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal told reporters.
A pathologist who worked as a lab technician at a hospital, Yadav had gone missing on June 22. The same evening, his father Chaman Singh lodged a missing complaint with the Barra Police Station, and police changed it to a case of kidnapping on June 26.
On July 13, the family claimed to have paid Rs 30 lakh, as demanded by the abductors, “on the direction of the police”, and said while officers had assured they would arrest the men, Yadav had not been released. Two days later, they denied paying the money, only to go back to their original stand, saying the police had forced them to say otherwise.
Agarwal said at the time that the police had tried to trace the kidnappers after they made the ransom call, but the operation had failed, following which the SHO, Barra, was suspended. The IG had also said that the investigation had shown no ransom was paid.
On Friday, the police said the abductors had told them they kidnapped Yadav hoping to extort money from his family and had hired a house in Kanpur to keep him. One of them, Kuldeep Goswami, who knew Yadav from before, allegedly met up with him and as they had drinks together, gave him something to make him unconscious, the police said.
The abductors reportedly told the police that on June 26, Yadav tried to flee, and that the next morning they killed him and threw his body into the Pandu River in Kanpur. They allegedly made the ransom call on June 29.
Police have engaged divers to try and find Yadav’s body.
Apart from Goswami, the four arrested are Gyanendra Yadav, the alleged mastermind, Neelu Singh, Ramji Shukla and Preeti Sharma. Both Goswami and Shukla used to work at the hospital with Yadav and left their jobs a few months ago. The police said they are looking for a sixth accused, Simi Singh. They had seized three motorcycles and a car used in the kidnapping, they said.
Action was taken against the 10 police officers of Barra station on Friday over lax supervision and dereliction of duty. ADG, Police Headquarters, B P Jogdand, will head an inquiry that will look into all aspects of the case, including the role of the police, the allegations of the family, and whether a ransom was paid or not.
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