The RCF police arrested six persons for abducting an auto driver and demanding money from him. The kidnappers made use of a car with a red beacon atop it, the use of which is deemed illegal, and the police are probing into how they got the car.
A wine shop worker, Prakash Mishra, 21, and five other persons, including a woman, banded together to kidnap auto driver Rajiv alias Bablu Singh, 37, at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai.
Mishra had handed Rs2.9 lakh to Singh for safekeeping a year ago, and for the last six months, had been asking for the money to be returned to him. Moreover, he had borrowed money from five persons — Jitendra Pal, 24, Dilip Pal, 18, Rajesh Pal, Santosh Dhage, 26 and Snehal Vilankar, 32 — and was desperate to repay them.
Mishra asked the five to help him recover the money from Singh, and they agreed.
According to the police, Mishra asked Singh, a resident of Vashi Naka, to meet him on Tuesday at around 10.45pm. When he reached the designated spot, Mishra and his associates forcibly shoved him into a car. “During the journey, they kept beating me up and demanded that I repay the money immediately. They threatened me with dire consequences if I raised an alarm,” Singh said.
The kidnappers took Singh to an isolated spot in Kharghar, where they thrashed him with wooden sticks till 5.30am the next morning.
Later, the kidnappers took away Singh’s mobile phone, contacted his sister Sadhana and told her to arrange Rs2.90 lakh in cash, which she was to bring to Vashi Naka at 7.30am. A scared Sadhana approached the RCF police station and narrated the incident.
The police told Sadhana to go with Mishra’s plan and call him to Vashi Naka, where the police would be waiting to welcome the kidnappers. “When the kidnappers came to the spot with Singh in their car at around 7.30am, policemen in plainclothes caught them and rescued Singh,” said Dilip Yadav, senior police inspector of RCF police station.
The police, however, were surprised to see the six turn up in a Mahindra Verito with a red beacon atop it, the kinds used by ministers or bureaucrats. Yadav added that they are still probing whether the car was stolen from a VIP or whether a red beacon was placed atop it to intimidate people. “We don’t know how long they have been using this car, but we will find out once we start interrogating them,” Yadav added.
The kidnappers have been remanded in police custody on charges of kidnapping and causing hurt to extort property.