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Trader abducted while on tour

A Calcutta trader who had gone to Assam to market a product was allegedly kidnapped and a ransom of Rs 1.5 crore demanded from his family, according to a police complaint filed by the family.

The complaint lodged with Jadavpur police station states that Ujjwal Kanti Majumdar, 31, had left for Assam with friend Joy Prakash Biswas on July 25 to market a product he had developed.

Joy Prakash, an Assam resident, has also been apparently kidnapped.

Ujjwal’s brother-in-law, Ananda Dhibar, allegedly received the first ransom call on July 29, three days after the trader was supposed to have reached Assam. The family reported the matter to the police the same night.

Ujjwal, the police said, had claimed to have developed a vessel that could help people fight blood sugar-related diseases. According to what Ujjwal’s family has told the police, anyone who would drink sugar dissolved in water in the vessel would develop immunity against ailments related to high blood sugar.

“Ujjwal and Joy Prakash had boarded the Saraighat Express from Howrah station on July 25. Ujjwal had called home the next day, saying they had reached Bongaigaon safely. There has been no contact between him and the family since. On July 29, around 6.45pm, the first ransom call came,” said a police officer.

According to the police complaint, the caller demanded Rs 1.5 crore to release Ujjwal and Joy Prakash.

Sources said two more such calls came till Wednesday and the ransom amount had been negotiated down to Rs 5 lakh.

The family, however, denied Ujjwal had been kidnapped.

The police have learnt that Joy Prakash had recently accompanied Ujjwal on a similar marketing trip to north Bengal.

Ujjwal, a bachelor, lives with elder sister Shukla’s family at their rented home at Sree Colony, near Jadavpur.

Sources said he also has an address at Chakdah in Nadia. The police said Ujjwal and his brother-in-law had started an acting institute in Azadgarh, which at present is closed.

“We have received a complaint of kidnapping. The matter is under investigation,” said joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.