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CID links Hingora case to Dal leader

Patna, Feb. 4: The criminal investigation department (CID) of the state police has gathered clinching evidence indicating the involvement of a ruling party leader in the kidnapping and subsequent payment of ransom to the abductors of Gujarat industrialist’s, son Sohail Hingora, from Daman.

The CID’s special team, which was assigned to probe the much-highlighted case, is learnt to have identified the conduit (middleman), who played an important role in the entire episode. The probe team has also gathered evidence showing the involvement of an influential JD(U) leader, whose house was used to strike the deal for the payment of ransom money.

The official bungalow of the politician in question is located in the capital’s prohibited zone. Sources said the payment was made at the leader’s house in Patna. The victim’s father, Md Hanif Hingora, was called at the leader’s house where he was asked to hand over the ransom money. The alleged abductors were informed about the payment of ransom amount over phone from there itself.

An investigating officer, on the condition of anonymity, said Hanif was taken to different places before he was finally asked to pay the ransom money in Patna. “We are probing the role of a Patna-based businessman, who helped Hanif arrange money for securing the safe release of his son in Saran district almost a month after he was kidnapped from Daman,” he told The Telegraph. The police officer said a detailed report would be submitted to the police headquarters within a week.

“We have almost cracked the Hingora kidnapping case. We have enough evidence to prove the criminal-politician nexus behind the high-profile kidnapping,” he said, adding that the role of eight influential persons was under the scanner of the probe team. When asked about the interrogation of the leader in question, the police officer said, “It is upto the senior police officers to quiz him on the basis of the evidence against him.” The officer, however, refused to disclose the name of the leader.

The breakthrough in the case assumes significance in the wake of a recent letter sent by Hanif to chief minister Nitish Kumar requesting the latter to conduct an in-depth probe into the police-politician-criminal nexus. Hanif had earlier announced to disclose the names of the politicians if the state police failed to establish their identities.

Hanif was kidnapped from Daman on October 29 and subsequently held hostage in Saran and Vaishali districts. Hanif had claimed that he had paid Rs 9 crore to the abductors to buy his son’s release from the clutches of his kidnappers, who had their links with those operating outside the Bihar.

The CID initiated a probe after a case was lodged in Saran’s Nayagaon police station. Ranjit Singh, son of a Jharkhand police sub-inspector Nagmani Singh, was arrested. Later, his close relative Sabal Singh was arrested from his native village Chechar in Vaishali district. Sabal, a retired Bihar homeguard jawan, revealed to the police that Sohail was kept in his house for a few days.

However, Ranjit’s three brothers — Deepak Singh, Santosh and Sonu — are still at large. The kingpin of the gang, Chandan Sonar, a close associate of Deepak, is also evading arrest. Sonar’s associate, Ashok Sharma, a suspended constable of the Jharkhand jail department, was arrested from Hazaribagh on Saturday and brought to Patna on Sunday.

During interrogation, Ashok reportedly confessed to his crime. A senior police officer, hailing from Jehanabad district, who was present during the quizzing, said he was in constant touch with Sonar, a resident of Vaishali district.