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Teacher, sister missing

Ranchi, Aug. 8: The police are groping in the dark after a headmaster and his sister — cousins of Dhanbad superintendent of police Hemant Toppo — went missing from Ghagra in Gumla district.

Prakash Toppo (40), the headmaster of a middle school at Bansari village, was reportedly abducted on Wednesday while he was on his way home from the school. The kidnappers called up his family members and demanded Rs 3 lakh ransom for his safe release.

The family members, instead of seeking help from the Gumla police or the Dhanbad SP, agreed to pay the ransom.

Prakash’s elder sister Saroj Toppo, also a schoolteacher, left home with the ransom amount in the small hours of Thursday. Two villagers Manu and Mukul accompanied her. After reaching neighbouring Toto village, around 10km from their house, she received a phone call from one of the abductors, who asked her to walk the remaining distance alone.

Saroj has been traceless since then and her mobile phone has been switched off. The two villagers, who had gone with her, returned home after waiting at Toto village for three hours. Ultimately, the family members and the local villagers informed the police.

Acting on the complaint, the police recovered Prakash’s motorcycle and bank passbooks from Ruchighati, around 35km from Bansari. The police are now trying to find out the transaction details of these bank accounts.

“We were informed about the incident late. We are trying our best. We have formed special teams and raids are on to secure their safe release,” said Gumla superintendent of police Bheemsen Tuti.