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Hunt for mastermind in boy kidnap case

- Surat businessman plans to meet Modi

Police have launched a manhunt for one Chulbul Pandey alias Pundit, who, along with Deepak Singh, is suspected to have masterminded the kidnapping of Surat-based textile industrialist’s son Sohail Hingora from Daman on October 29.

Sources said Ranjeet Singh, who was arrested in Chuturpur village under the jurisdiction of Nayagaon police station in Saran district last week, reportedly told the interrogators that Chulbul Pandey alias Pundit was behind the kidnapping of Sohail.

He, however, refused to share more information about Pandey on the plea that he was not aware of his whereabouts and antecedents. “My brother Deepak used to contact him on phone and he addressed the person on the mobile as Chulbul Pandey or Pundit,” he told the interrogators.

The sources added that the Daman police inquired about Chulbul from the members of the Bihar police team. The Daman police sought to know whether any criminal by that name was operating in Bihar and was associated with any gang involved in kidnapping for ransom.

A senior police officer associated with the investigation said they were trying to verify the information given by their Daman counterpart. “So far, we have no information about any such criminal. But it may be his nick name in underworld,” he added.

Meanwhile, the two-member Bihar police team comprising a deputy superintendent of police and an inspector visited Hanif Hingora’s house on Monday evening and inquired about the kidnapping of his 22-year-old son. The team sought to know about the suspects.

The sources said Sohail told the police that the abductors took him to Bihar by road and confined him to a room for 25 days. “I was never shifted to elsewhere and allowed to go to washroom only. Seven to eight gun-toting men in police uniform used to guard me,” he told the visiting team.

Hanif, on the other hand, iterated that the ransom money was given to the abductors through a politician of Bihar. He, however, did not disclose the name of the politician. “I have provided enough evidence to the Daman police to nail the abductors and their political masters,” he revealed to the policemen from Bihar.

Hanif, when contacted over phone, said he would approach Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi soon and demand for a CBI probe if the criminal-police-politician nexus was not exposed. “I will leave no stone unturned to expose the abductors and their political links,” he said, adding that at least 18 affluent businessmen of Gujarat were on the radar of the gang, which abducted his son from Daman.

A CID team on Sunday detained one Prem Prakash, said to be a close associate of a notorious gangster Chandan Sonar, for interrogation.