Nakul (left) and Aboni, bound to the tree. (Anirban Choudhury)
Alipurduar, Sept. 4: Two men were beaten up by villagers, bound to a tree for an hour and handed over to police after they arrived at Chapatali to collect the money they had demanded to marry two girls.
Aboni Sarkar (44) and Nakul Roy (40) had kidnapped the girls and confined them for seven days. They have been arrested under Sections 363, 376 and 417 for abduction, rape and cheating.
Alpana Basu and Rupa Mandal (names changed), both 18-year-olds, had been kept under lock and key in a rented room in Siliguri.
Sarkar and Roy had been coaxed into coming to Chapatali, 8km from here, over the phone by the parents of the girls. The two men had forced Alpana and Rupa to ring up their parents for Rs 20,000, which they said was needed for meeting the wedding expenses.
Alpana and Rupa had met the men at a fair at Alipurduar Durgabari on July 4.
The men, both residents of North Point here, had then told the girls that they would look upon them as sisters since they did not have any siblings. From then on, Sarkar and Roy often contacted the girls over the phone. Both Alpana and Rupa later said they had not suspected anything by the men’s behaviour, as they were extremely courteous.
According to an earlier arrangement, the girls went to Alipurduar market on August 27 where Aboni and Nakul were waiting for them with a car, a Maruti Omni driven by a third person. The duo told the girls that they would visit nearby tourist spots. But Alpana and Rupa soon found out that they were on their way to Siliguri.
They were taken to a house in New Jalpaiguri. The men watched over the girls who were not allowed to step outside the room. Alpana said they had overheard one of the men telling somebody over the phone about the plan to take them to Kashmir and Delhi.
The men also asked the girls to arrange for Rs 20,000. When the girls pleaded helpless, the men rang up their families and proposed marriage. They said they would need the money for the wedding. “Although we suspected foul play, we played along. We told them to come down to Chapatali and take the money. When the girls saw us, they broke down,” said Satyen Basu (name changed), Alpana’s father. He said the men would have taken the money and the girls on the pretext of marriage and sold them.
According to the police, both the men were married. While Aboni has four children, Nakul has two. S.R. Mishra, additional superintendent of police, Alipurduar, said the men would be produced in court tomorrow.