March 3, 2021 5:00:58 am
A week after 32-year-old Mehtab Rana was booked in Agra for allegedly kidnapping a minor girl belonging to a different community, police on Tuesday said they found the 16-year-old girl at a guesthouse in Delhi. The girl told the police that she had gone to Delhi with a youth from Gwalior, identified as Divyanshu, with whom she was reportedly in contact for the past one year.
Police have booked Divyanshu and his friend Rinku, a resident of Delhi, on charges of kidnapping.
According to police, the girl has so far denied Rana’s role, who was booked for kidnapping on February 23 and is currently absconding. Two days ago, police arrested Rana’s wife and two sisters-in-law on charges of keeping the kidnapped person in confinement.
“With the help of surveillance and other sources, we traced the girl to a guesthouse in Delhi. During questioning, the girl told us that she had gone to Delhi with Divyanshu, a youth from Gwalior, on February 23. Divyanshu was arrested by Gwalior police two days ago in a separate cybercrime case, ” Assistant Superintendent of Police (Agra City) Botre Rohan Pramod said.
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Police are also looking for Divyanshu’s friend Rinku who had allegedly accompanied them to Delhi.
“Both Divyanshu and Rinku are accused of the kidnapping of the girl,” Pramod added.
On Mehtab Rana’s role, police said that they would take the next course of action based on the girl’s statement before the magistrate. “On the basis of the girl’s statement before the magistrate, we will take the next course of action. We are yet to ascertain Rana’s role in the kidnapping case. The decision on his three family members arrested two days ago will also be taken after that,” said the officer.
Police said that three years ago, Rana was booked for kidnapping and raping the same girl. The girl was then recovered from Meerut and Rana was arrested. He was later released in 2019.
A father of six children, Rana had come to Agra in 2018 to work in a hotel where the girl’s father was employed, said police. He used to regularly visit her house for work, they said.
“The girl told us that Rana was threatening her to change her statement in the 2018 kidnapping case,” said Pramod.
According to police, the girl was carrying a new cellphone number when she was traced to a Delhi guesthouse. “During questioning, the girl told us that she came in contact with Divyanshu a year ago at a wedding. They used to regularly speak over the phone. The girl said that on February 23 she had gone to a hospital with her aunt for treatment. The same day, Divyanshu arrived there with his friend Rinku in a vehicle. Divyanshu changed his get-up by wearing a pathani suit and turban before entering the hospital. She then left the hospital in a burqa and the three reached Delhi where Rinku kept her at guesthouse on false identity,” said a police officer involved in the investigation.
“During investigation, we suspected that the man coming out of the hospital was Mehtab Rana who was named in the FIR (filed on a complaint lodged by the girl’s father on February 23). We will again review the CCTV footages in the light of the girl’s statement,” said Pramod.
The girl has been sent for a medical examination.
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