Police took over four months to crack the kidnapping case of the 13-year-old son of noted hotelier Mohan Kumar Khandelwal from Patna in February this year.
The abductors had allegedly demanded Rs 2 crore as ransom for the victim’s safe release. Newly-wed Anamika and Girish Pathak, the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of Shivam Khandelwal, from an area falling under the jurisdiction of Kotwali police station in Patna, was arrested by the Delhi police’s crime branch from Sarai Kalekhan bus stand in New Delhi on Saturday.
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said a team has left for New Delhi to bring the couple to Patna on transit remand.
“The couple had plotted the kidnapping to make a quick buck and would be produced before a local court on Monday,” the SSP said.
He said with the five accused having been arrested in the case, the investigating officer has been asked to plead the court to put the case on speedy trial.
Four persons, including the couple’s accomplice Abhishek, a member of the 197th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force stationed at Chaibasa in Jharkhand, were earlier apprehended on the kidnapping charge.
During interrogation, Anamika told the police that she planned the kidnap of the minor son of the hotelier after having succeeded in winning the confidence of her employer Khandelwal. Anamika worked as receptionist at Khandelwal’s hotel, while her husband was employed as driver.
“To execute the plan, we took the help of Abhishek, Vinay and Pradeep,” she told the interrogators.
According to the plan, the three alleged abductors intercepted the car in which Shivam was travelling on his way to play badminton and drove the vehicle to Ara in Bhojpur.
He was confined to the house of Vinay at Dhanpura village in Bhojpur, where the police conducted raids on the basis of location of the driver’s cellphone and recovered the boy. The CCTV installed at Saguna More also helped the police identify the exit route of the alleged abductors.
Khandelwal, too, corroborated the Patna police’s demand for speedy trial of the case.
“This is the best method to contain serious offences like kidnapping for ransom. We will cooperate with the police in the investigation,” he said, adding that the family was yet to overcome the trauma and agony they had to undergo.
The family got information about the arrest of the couple on Saturday itself.
“I received a call from a senior police officer, who confided the information about the couple’s arrest who he had employed. Initially, Anamika joined the hotel and later she requested to employ her husband as driver. The family had no inkling of their kidnapping plan,” he said.
The Patna SSP said the couple had fled to Delhi soon after the incident. “The Delhi police’s crime branch conducted a raid on the basis of a tip-off. They were arrested while trying to board a bus to flee from New Delhi,” he said.