The Delhi Police has filed a chargesheet in a kidnapping case in which a five-year-old boy was brazenly abducted from a school bus on the eve of Republic Day from Shahdara.
The boy was rescued after an encounter between the police and the kidnappers on February 6 at Shalimar City in Ghaziabad’s Sahibabad area.
Of the four accused, Ravi (25) was killed in the encounter, while Pankaj was arrested. Nitin Sharma, another accused, was arrested on February 5, and Anshul Malhotra, his accomplice, after the boy was rescued. They had demanded a ransom of Rs 60 lakh for the child’s release, according to the chargesheet. Nitin used to make the ransom calls in the voice of a woman to mislead investigators, police said.
The chargesheet was filed before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Garg in the Karkardooma Court earlier this month and the accused were booked for kidnapping, attempt to murder, theft, wrongful restraint and under provisions of the Arms Act.
The chargesheet mentions that Malhotra, who happens to be a friend of Nitin, had supplied arms to them.
Pankaj and Ravi had allegedly kidnapped the boy from the school bus on January 25 near IBHAAS on the Mandoli Road on the directions of Nitin. They had also shot at bus driver Naresh Thapa, it stated.
The 43-page chargesheet lists 81 witnesses and the evidence include stolen mobile phones that were used by the accused to make the ransom calls and send a Whatsapp video of the boy saying “I love you” to his father.
Other evidence include footage taken from CCTV cameras on the route from where the boy was kidnapped.
The chargesheet also mentions that Nitin used to make ransom calls in the voice of a female to create an impression that a woman had planned the entire episode and throw the police off-track.
Nitin’s voice samples have been sent for forensic examination and a report is awaited, it said.
The operation to rescue the child was called ‘C-River’ as the accused had demanded that the ransom money be delivered at the Cross River mall in Shahdara.
The plan to kidnap Vihaan Gupta, the son of a wholesale businessman, was hatched by Nitin who knew that the boy’s father had recently struck a business deal of Rs 37 lakh, police said.
The accused had decided to kidnap the boy to make quick money, they said.
The case was transferred to the Crime Branch on January 28 on the instructions of the Commissioner of Police. The Crime Branch formed a team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) G Ram Gopal Naik. It tracked the area in Sahibabad where the alleged kidnappers were holed up.
Nitin was arrested from Seemapuri on February 5 when he was returning from a marriage party, the chargesheet stated.
The police were keeping a tab on his movements and had even entered the wedding venue posing as guests, it said.