Sounds strange but true. Not any lethal weapon, a stethoscope was found on a suspected kidnapper in Sitamarhi.
A group of residents of Vidya Vihar road on Monday intercepted the abductor, Md Abdullah (25), for allegedly trying to kidnap the eight-year-old son of Maheshwar Prasad, a deputy commandant in the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). They were stunned to find a stethoscope in his possession.
Abdullah, a resident of Sonawati Colony in Sitamarhi district, reportedly admitted that he had planned to kidnap the SSB officer’s son, Abhiraj. His statement was recorded on video and the compact disc containing his confession was handed over to the Town police station.
Sitamarhi superintendent of police P.K. Sinha said a kidnapping case had been lodged with the Town police station on the basis of the statement of Sweta alleging that Abdullah had visited her house to abduct her children.
Sweta alleged in her complaint that Abdullah was earlier spotted loitering in the locality but the residents couldn’t suspect any foul play. “He had conducted a recce of the locality before executing the plan,” the complaint stated.
Sinha, the SP, has summoned Sweta to his office on Tuesday for some clarifications.
The officer confirmed that a stethoscope, a cellphone and three SIM cards were seized from the possession of Abdullah, who was earlier chargsheeted for theft and robbery. “He will be thoroughly interrogated,” he said.
During initial interrogation, Abdullah reportedly told the police that he was assigned the task of abduction by one Shambhu Singh.
He told the interrogators that Shambhu had provided him the stethoscope, a doctor’s device, to dodge the family.
According to the plan, Abdullah was supposed to enter the house of Sweta posing as a quack. But he was detained and a bicycle was recovered.
“It could not be confirmed whether the bicycle belonged to Abdullah or he had stolen it from the SSB officer’s house,” a police officer said.
Acting swiftly on the information given by Abdullah, the police conducted a raid in an area under the jurisdiction of Mehsaul police outpost in the city and arrested Shambhu.
Sinha, the Sitamarhi SP, said the antecedents of Shambhu were being verified. “Abdullah is also giving contradictory statements,” he said.
The SP said he had heard the new modus operandi of the kidnappers for the first time.
“I have not come across with such a device ever seized from a person involved in kidnapping in the state,” he told The Telegraph.
The officer said he had not gone through the contents of the CD in which Abdullah allegedly confessed to his crime. “The CD is a part of the FIR,” he said.
“The case is being probed from different angles. We are trying to ascertain the motive of the alleged abductors behind the incident,” an investigating officer said, adding that the allegations against the accused were serious in nature.
The officer, who didn’t wish to be identified, said since the victim’s father was earlier posted in the district the incident could be a part of the professional hazard.
“Property dispute might be the other reason behind the incident,” he added.
Prasad, the SSB’s deputy commandant, was earlier posted in Sitamarhi, which shares border with Nepal. Last year, he was shifted to Bathnaha in Araria district. Now, he is posted in Chhattisgarh but his wife Sweta Verma continues to live in Sitamarhi with Abhiraj, her son, and a daughter.
The SSB’s deputy commandant could not be contacted for comments. Sources close to the family said the commandant had settled down in his in-laws’ house at Sitamarhi.
“He is the only son-in-law and the heir of the in-laws’ property,” a family acquaintance said.