A 21-year-old medical student who was kidnapped from Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district on January 18 for Rs 70 lakh ransom has been rescued and five people, including a doctor who works in Delhi and allegedly plotted the conspiracy, have been arrested, police said on Friday. Three of the accused, including the mastermind, were held following an exchange of gunfire at the Zero Point in Greater Noida late on Thursday night while they were on an expressway in a car with the hostage, the police said.
Their two other associates, who had made the ransom call to the student’s father, who also is a doctor and lives in Bahraich, were arrested from Sant Kabir Nagar later on Friday, the police said. “The abducted student, Gaurav Haldhar, was rescued safely from the car in the joint operation by the Noida unit of the Special Task Force (STF) and the Gonda Police, according to an official statement.
Haldhar, a resident of Kashipur in the Payagpur area of Bahraich district, is pursuing Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS) from the SCPM College of Nursing and Medical Sciences, Haripur in Gonda and was residing in the hostel. The trio arrested in Greater Noida have been identified as mastermind Dr. Abhishek Singh, who has a BAMS degree from an institute in Bengaluru, Nitesh Bihari and Mohit Singh, the STF said. The accused had demanded a ransom of Rs 70 lakh from Haldhar’s father over a phone call, a day after the student’s kidnapping, prompting his family to approach the police.
Haldhar was honey-trapped by a woman known to the conspiracy’s mastermind and she had called him for a meeting in Gonda on January 18 but instead he was kidnapped and brought to Delhi by the accused, Additional Superintendent of Police, STF, Raj Kumar Mishra said. “During investigation, it came to light that the kidnappers had again called the student’s family on Thursday for ransom and were leaving for Lucknow from Delhi in a car along with the hostage but were tracked down, Mishra said in Greater Noida.
In a separate press conference in Gonda, SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey said two other people involved in the kidnapping have been arrested from Sant Kabir Nagar district, while search is on for some others. “These people, identified as Rohit and Satish, had made the ransom call to Haldhar’s father, who is also a doctor, he told reporters.
He said during questioning, Dr. Abhishek Singh told police that he works at a hospital in Delhi’s Najafgarh and the woman who honey-trapped Haldhar works in the same hospital. Haldhar was kept at Singh’s flat in Delhi after kidnapping and was injected with sedatives in captivity since January 18, Pandey said.