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Kidnapped off bike

Calcutta, Dec. 10: Five days before her wedding, a young woman was plucked off her fiance’s motorbike pillion and pulled into a car in a lightning abduction today that left the rush-hour traffic on Vidyasagar Setu too stunned to react.

The audacious and clockwork kidnapping of 24-year-old Mini Kanoria was carried out on the bridge around 6.30 pm.

As Mini and Vikas Khaitan, 28, rode onto the bridge from the Howrah side, they didn’t realise they were being tailed by a second motorcycle.

The couple, both from Howrah and due to marry on December 15, “were probably travelling to Calcutta to shop”, an officer suggested.

They crossed the toll barrier and, as the traffic picked up speed, the second motorbike swerved close to them. A man riding pillion on the second bike lunged at Mini and pulled her by the arms, throwing her off balance. A shocked Vikas quickly pulled up.

Within seconds, a grey Maruti van appeared from behind the second bike and four young men jumped out. They punched Vikas a few times, throwing him to the ground and, before scores of dazed eyes, dragged a screaming Mini into the car and sped off eastwards towards Calcutta. The second motorbike followed the van.

“I tried to raise an alarm and stop them, but they were too quick for me or anybody else,” Vikas told a group of senior officers at Hastings police station later in the evening.

Police, who have sealed all exit points from Calcutta, said that sometime after the kidnapping, the Kanorias had received a mystery call at their house in Nityadhan Mukherjee Lane, near Vikas’s Khetra Gupta Lane home.

The caller, however, said nothing and quickly hung up. The call, made on a mobile, has been traced to Unique Park in Behala, the police said.

Mini’s father Suresh Kumar Kanoria confirmed that the wedding had been set for December 15. “We are very worried,” he said. “Please do not bother us now.”

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