The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Son hostage in family fallout
- Cellphone trail trips mother out to pressure in-laws

Child kidnapped; mother wanted. That is how the script of an abduction tale with a twist has unfolded.

Vibha Ruia, on the brink of divorce, plotted the kidnapping of her 10-year-old son to extract a pound of flesh from her in-laws, police alleged.

And she almost pulled it off, before being tripped by technology — sleuths picked up the cellphone trail to track her down.

Rajeev Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (central), said Vibha finally gave a confessional statement. “Yes, I chalked out the plan only to create pressure on my husband and in-laws,” is what she stated.

Around 6.30 pm on May 15, Vibha came to Jorasanko police station to raise the alarm about her son going missing for “three hours”. Police recorded her complaint, but were not convinced by her “body language”.

Vibha’s businessman father Vijay Gupta told police the next day that he had received a telephone call from an unidentified caller, who threatened to kill the ‘kidnapped’ boy.

A team of police officers then went to Gupta’s Nabakrishna Roy Street residence, in the Shyampukur police station area, and set up caller-line identification (CLI). “The calls started coming from 3 pm. But whenever a policeman picked up the phone, the caller would disconnect. But the calls gave us a cellphone number to trace,” an officer said.

As it was Sunday, the sleuths had to wait a day to get the call details from the cellphone service provider.

“We came to know that it was a pre-paid connection that had been activated just 24 hours earlier. The authorities who provided the connection gave us the number of another WLL phone from where a call was made to the suspected number immediately after its activation,” said the officer.

“We then collected the detailed call statement of the WLL phone and identified its owner as Ajay Agarwal. It was also found that Vibha had made 10 to 15 calls a day to Ajay’s number between May 7 and May 15. It seems the calls were made to plot the kidnap drama,” he added.

On May 18, Vibha came to Jorasanko police station around 9 pm and informed police that her son had come back home.

“We asked both the mother and son to come to the police station. By then, we were almost sure that something was amiss,” said an officer on the case.

The moment Vibha, along with her son, entered the Jorasanko police station, officers started questioning the child.

“I left home, a car stopped in front of me and a man dragged me in. I was gagged and lost consciousness. When I woke up, I found myself in a dark room with my hands and legs tied with a rope,” he rattled off.

“But there were no marks on his wrists. Under pressure, the boy confessed that the kidnap tale was not true and that his mother had told him to spend a few days with Ajay ‘uncle’,” police said.

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