Five days after e-commerce senior executive Dipti Sarna (24) was abducted on her way home in Ghaziabad, five men were arrested in connection with the case. Police said the prime accused and mastermind of the plan had been following her for months and was inspired by Shahrukh Khan’s movie, Darr.
Speaking to mediapersons Monday afternoon, Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dharmendra Singh, said, “The accused had first spotted the woman at Rajiv Chowk Metro station about a year ago. He hatched this plan to win her over. During questioning, the prime accused revealed that he was deeply inspired by the movie Darr. He began tracking her movement and involved four other men from his village. He shifted to a rented accommodation in Khoda colony and drove auto-rickshaws from Vaishali Metro station to Ghaziabad.”
Dipti, on the other hand, declined to comment on the case, maintaining that she had told the police everything.
Accompanied by her parents and her brother at Sihani Gate police station in Ghaziabad, she said, “I hope that measures are taken so that no other person undergoes the ordeal that I have faced.”
According to the police, prime accused Devendra, a resident of Sonepat, has around 30 cases against him related to robbery, attempt to murder and kidnapping.
Police said he had fled from custody in June 2014 with the help of his brother and had been in hiding ever since.
“We received a tip-off that Devendra might be associated with this case. Since he had fled from police custody in Haryana earlier and there had been several cases of attempt to murder, kidnapping and robbery against him, he was on the police radar. We managed to get hold of some of his identity cards which had his photo. That photo was shown to Dipti who identified him,” said Singh.
Recounting the events on the night of February 10, police said Devendra, along with the other accused, waited for her in an auto-rickshaw outside the station. When Dipti boarded another auto-rickshaw, the accused managed to puncture the vehicle’s tyres.
“They knew when Dipti would reach the Metro station and from where she would board an auto-rickshaw as they had been tracking her movements for three months. They had parked two auto-rickshaws, which they purchased earlier, at the same spot. But Dipti boarded another one. Near Sahibabad’s vegetable market, they managed to puncture that auto’s tyre following which Dipti and another woman sat in the accused’s auto-rickshaw,” said Singh.
The accused forced the other woman out of the vehicle at knife-point near Hindon Bridge, said police.
“This happened at about 8.20 pm. They threatened Dipti and took her towards Morti village. They hid her bag and mobile phone on the way. When they reached Farrukh Nagar, the auto-rickshaw ran out of CNG. Devendra then called his brother who provided his i10 car,” said Singh.
The car broke down near Kheda Atana after it got stuck in sand near Yamuna Bank. “They took Dipti and crossed the Yamuna on foot. She was kept in a sugarcane field the entire day. The main accused, meanwhile, tried to talk to Dipti and convince her that he was trying to save her from the other accused.
When his efforts went in vain, he dropped Dipti at a railway station on February 12 from where she boarded a train. She called her family using a co-passenger’s phone.
“The entire plan of the accused was to be seen as a ‘hero’ by Dipti. He had told his associates that he wanted to steal Rs 3 to 4 crore from Dipti’s house and that she had a set of house keys,” said the SSP.
Police identified the others arrested in the case as Pradeep, Mohit, Fayim and Majid.
Police also recovered a Swift with a Delhi number plate, the i10, two UP-registered auto-rickshaws, a 0.32 countrymade pistol with eight cartridges, a 0.315 countrymade pistol with six cartridges, Dipti’s Dell laptop, her Fossil watch, Snapdeal icard, ATM, black bag, tiffin box
and Rs 700.