The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Roving calls for early ransom

Hours after the shocking abduction of Roma Jhawar from Salt Lake, police said the kidnappers are 'somewhere in the city', waiting for ransom before plotting a getaway.

Police said the ransom calls to the Jhawar home were being made from Roma's mobile phone and the service provider had been able to trace the calls to 'different parts of north Calcutta'.

Members of a high-power, multi-agency probe team said late on Friday they were 'hopeful of an early breakthrough'.

Though chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handed the kidnap case over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), officers from the detective department of Calcutta Police and North 24-Parganas police, too, spent the day probing all possible angles and activating their sources.

Also under the scanner were the Jhawars' business and family affairs, to ascertain whether any professional or personal rivalry had triggered the kidnapping.

As news of the abduction spread, senior officers, including deputy inspector-general (Presidency range) H.P. Singh and North 24-Parganas superintendent of police Parveen Kumar, rushed to the spot.

They questioned driver Sukumar Mondal repeatedly but were unable to speak to Roma's friend Sabari Mitra, as she was in a state of shock and had to be sedated. Police later detained the driver for further interrogation.

'What helped us get a tip on the abductors' location was the first ransom call made from Roma's cell phone to her brother Rajesh's cell phone. Her sister-in-law Sunita received the call. We contacted the service provider of Roma's phone and traced the call to a tower in the Beleghata area,' said an officer.

Around 1 pm, the call to the Jhawar landline ' again from Roma's cell phone ' was traced to Shyambazar, said a CID officer. 'This confirms that the abductors have not fled the city, probably with an eye on an early settlement,' said a sleuth.

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