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Trader rescued from cave

Hazaribagh, Dec. 10: A 40-year-old Hazaribagh trader, who was abducted at gunpoint from his hardware shop located in his house on NH-33 on December 5, was rescued from a cave in Maoist-dominated Charhi in the wee hours today.

Jyoti Kumar, a resident of Massipiddi, was alone inside the 20-feet deep cave atop Chadri Pahad in Kajri village, 32km from the district headquarters, when police found him. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 5 lakh from his father Pradeep Kumar. But police, acting on tip-offs, zeroed in on the place before money could exchange hands and rescued Jyoti around 1.30am.

“Cross verification of inputs that we kept getting from our sources and well-coordinated led to safe rescue of the businessman. The gang involved in the abduction has been identified. Efforts are on to nab them,” said Hazaribagh SP Manoj Kaushik.

He added that though the family was middle class, it owned premium land along NH-33. “In fact, there was a dispute between some local residents and the family over the plot. The kidnap might have been the fallout of that dispute,” the SP said.

Jyoti was busy at his shop in the evening of December 5 when four-five men barged in, dragged him out at gunpoint and whisked him away in an SUV in front of his seven-year-old son. “I was blindfolded and taken somewhere, where I was handed over to another team, which took me inside the forests and finally to the cave atop the hill,” a shaken Jyoti said, adding that he was given only biscuits to eat.

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