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Goons in net for abduction

Patna, Nov. 29: Gangster Sanoj Singh, alias Sanjay Singh, who was absconding in connection with the abduction of two doctors in 2003, was on Thursday arrested with one of his associates in the Anisabad area.

Sanoj was convicted two years later for his involvement in the kidnapping of neurosurgeon Dr Ramesh Chandra in Patna and Dr Gajendra Mohan at Hajipur in Vaishali district. He, however, managed to dodge police and was on the run for seven years.

A car with a registration number of Bengal, equipment used to steal luxury vehicles and three cellphones were found on Singh and his associate, whom the police identified as Mohammed Arshad, a resident of the Topsia area on the southern fringe of Calcutta.

Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amrit Raj said acting on a tip-off, a team, headed by station house officer of Gardanibagh police station Balram Prasad, intercepted a vehicle near Anisabad temple and took the occupants into custody.

Initially, both the culprits tried to mislead the police by disclosing their fictitious identity. But they later admitted to their involvement in various crimes in Patna and Jehanabad districts. Raj said Sanoj was absconding in at least 15 cases of kidnapping, loot and robbery in Patna, Jehanabad and Vaishali districts.

The SSP added that Sanoj used to operate in localities such as Kotwali, Phulwarisharif, Janipur, Danapur, Alamganj, Gardanighbagh, Pirbahore and Bikram in Patna, sadar police station area in Hajipur (Vaishali) and Makdumpur and Tehta in Jehanabab.

Referring to Arshad’s criminal antecedents, Raj said he was absconding in connection with two cases lodged with Parasbigha and Jehanabad town police stations. “Arshad was mainly involved in theft of luxury vehicles,” he said.

Dr Chandra was abducted while he was returning home in a car after attending a dinner party hosted by former Medical Council of India (MCI) member Dr. Ajay Kumar at Ashiana Nagar late in the night on May 18, 2003. The dinner was organised by the MCI member in the honour of reputed neuroscientists from eight states, who had come to Patna to attend a two-day conference. The doctor’s car was found abandoned on New Bypass road.

The abductors later contacted Dr Chandra’s clinic on Sahdeo Mahto Marg in the SK Puri area and allegedly demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore for his safe release. The victim’s wife and daughters were abroad at the time of the incident. The neurosurgeon was rescued from the clutches of his abductors from Cheraura village under Naubatpur police station in Patna on May 21, three days after his abduction.

The name of Hulas Pandey, currently a member of the Legislative Council, had figured in the abduction of Dr Gajendra Mohan. He was held captive in July 2003, while returning to Patna from Hajipur where he was posted as the medical officer.