'Anant ransom deal struck at Rs 5 crore'

19 Nov, 2006. NEW DELHI: Doubts over what really happened in the case involving the kidnapping of a wealthy executive’s child in Noida deepened today with the driver of the autorickshaw in which the boy reached home contending that the abductors handed over the boy to him at Sarita Vihar. Within hours of UP police claiming credit for rescuing Anant Gupta, three-year-old son of Adobe India CEO Naresh Gupta, on Friday, their story started coming apart. 

Around midnight, a man who identified himself as Ashok Kalia claimed on a news channel, with his face muffled, that the kidnapping had been actually executed by the notorious Jatin Sirohi and Sunder Bhati gangs and that the abductors had struck a deal of Rs 5 crore with Anant's family. 

Kalia said he knew this because the abductors had handed Anant over to him for two days and he had hidden him at a place called Narola Khadar in Badayun. He added he had dropped Anant near Apollo Hospital in a blue Scorpio early morning on Friday. He had a reason for spilling the beans: he was promised Rs 11 lakh for the job but had not been paid. 

The police had claimed that the kidnapping was the handiwork of four men — Jeetendra, Chatrapal, Pawan and Vijay Chauhan — and had arrested Jeetendra who was remanded to judicial custody on Saturday. 

According to their story, Jeetendra and Chatrapal worked with the Mother Dairy booth in Sector 15A from where the boy was kidnapped. 

The IG (Meerut zone) rubbished the claim in the morning but there was more to come. Anant's maternal grandfather, Kanak Kumar Varshney, said it was only the autorickshaw driver who had brought Anant back.

NOIDA: Raising questions on the claims of police in the Anant Gupta kidnapping case, the driver of the autorickshaw in which the three-year-old boy had reached home, on Saturday claimed the abductors gave him the child at Sarita Vihar in South Delhi, about five km from his residence. 

The auto driver, Bhupinder Singh, claiming to have been kept at a police station in Noida overnight, told a television channel that two men approached him at Sarita Vihar on Friday and gave him Rs 50 to drop Anant home, saying the child had lost his way. 

They asked him to drop the boy at the address given on his school badge. "They approached me at the CNG station near Apollo Hospital and I took the boy home," he claimed, raising doubts about the police claim that they took custody of the child in Kakod area on Noida-Bulandshahar border and a policeman accompanied him in the auto to his Sector-15 residence here. 
The drive said he was given sweets and something to eat, after which the police took him to the Sector 63 police station here, where he was kept overnight and not allowed to make any phone calls, he alleged.

He said Anant’s mother lated visited him in the police station and gave him a reward of Rs 1,000.

“The boy’s maternal grandfather also gave me a reward of Rs 5,000,” he said. 

Singh said he was let off today after having been thoroughly interrogated by the police. 

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police today claimed to have rescued a six-year-old boy abducted last month and arrested one person in this connection.

Ashish, resident of Bhajanpura in North-East Delhi, was rescued from the clutches of his abductor at New Delhi Railway Station yesterday when the accused was about to board a train for taking the boy to Mumbai.

The boy was kidnapped by one Afzal, a resident of Ghaziabad, on October 31 with an intention to sell him, police said.

Police had formed several teams and interrogated scores of persons before finally rescuing the boy.

Singh said the boy, who cried on the way, was not accompanied by anyone when he took him home. He said the guard at the Gupta residence did not recognise the child and took him inside the house along with the boy. 

Later, he was called in and the whole family was elated to see the child. He was given sweets and something to eat. 

Police took him to the Sector-63 police station here, where he was kept overnight and not allowed to make any phone calls, he said. 

He said Anant's mother visited him in the police station and gave him a reward of Rs 1000. Singh said he was let off by the police on Saturday. Corroborating the auto driver's version, Anant's maternal grandfather Kanak Kumar Varshney said the child was brought home by a man who said he was an auto driver. 

"He said somebody handed the child over to him near the Apollo Hospital," Varshney said. "I just told him that you are my God because you have brought back my grandson. I began weeping. And then I asked him to sit and take sweets and told him we will reward him," he said. 

Varshney said he then asked his son-in-law and Anant's father Naresh Gupta to come downstairs immediately, adding the family then informed the police about the child's return.



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