Engineering students abduct youth, 5 arrested

Bhubaneswar: The police has busted an abduction racket in Odisha and arrested five persons including two engineering students in this connection. The accused had hatched a conspiracy to abduct two youths for money and when their attempts failed, they kidnapped one Gourav Rath, a BTech student last month, Commissioner of Police YB Khurania told reporters yesterday.

Rath was abducted while he was returning from tuitions at Damana Square on February 26, he said.
A case was registered at Chandrasekharpur police station, a day after Rath’s abduction.
The special team formed to crack the case zeroed in on a house under Bomikhal area.

From there, three youths were rounded up for interrogation yesterday. Moments later, a blast occurred at that house causing damage to property. After rounds of interrogation, the arrested persons gave information of the mastermind of the crime and another person, who were also subsequently arrested by the police.

It is suspected that the blast was caused to destroy all the evidences, Khurania said.
The police have recovered Rs 1,07, 000, a sword, the rented car, a motorcycle, five mobile phones and a laptop from the possession of the arrested persons.

The police are on the lookout for other members of the gang, including the girl who made calls to the victim, the police commissioner said.

The kidnappers had trapped the 17-year-old boy by befriending him on Facebook.
Later, the kidnappers followed his telephonic calls, traced him and executed the abduction plan after fetching his number and other details.

The abductors, who hail from Puri, had taken Rath to the pilgrim town for a couple of days.
They shifted their hideout to Bomikhal area in Bhubaneswar after the victims mobile phone got switched on accidentally, Khurania said.

They had called up Rath’s father and demanded a ransom of Rs 11 lakh. The kidnappers left the victim near Raghunathpur on the outskirts of the capital city on February 28 night after his father paid Rupees 2 lakh initially, the officer said.