The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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At garage, night in a taxi

Around 10.30 pm on Friday, Roma Jhawar was brought to the garage in Kadapara, near Swabhumi, from the house of Dilip Baidya in Sodepur, where she had spent nearly 10 hours following her abduction.

Roma was asked to lie down on the rear seat of a taxi parked in front of the garage.

Reconstructing the events at the garage on the basis of statements provided by the accused, police said Gunjan covered Roma with a blanket, and ordered Guddu and Munna to sit in the front and guard her. From 10.30 pm to 2.30 am, Roma lay there on the rear seat, cops claimed.

'Were you ill-treated in Sodepur' Guddu reportedly asked Roma, to which she replied in the negative.

Roma then, apparently, asked Munna and Guddu: 'Has the money deal (for my release) been struck' Munna replied: 'No, talks are on.'

The talk through the night meandered from what Roma had for lunch ('chocolate and biscuits from my tiffin-box') and then her last meal ('Maggi noodles before leaving Dilip's house'), to what she did at the Sodepur hideout ('listened to songs and watched Sholay').

After leaving Roma at the garage on Narkeldanga Main Road, with a pan shop and an STD booth in front, Gunjan led police on a chase from 11 pm to 2.30 am.

He kept shifting the venue for handover of the ransom from Bata More to NRS Hospital to Islamia Hospital to the Bhootnath temple in Nimtala, and then back to Bata More.

On finalising the deal, Gunjan returned to the garage and asked Roma to step out of the taxi. Gunjan, Roma, Dilip and Munna then walked few metres to hire a taxi and headed down the road leading from Kankurgachhi to EM Bypass.

After barely a kilometre, they got off and took another taxi. At a point, the cherry-colour Maruti Omni, later seized by the CID, was parked.

They all got off and boarded the Omni and left for the scheduled spot.

On Thursday, way down the winding stretch of Gohor Bibi Lane, Guddu's stepbrothers stood stoic. All they would say is Guddu had fallen into 'bad company'.

Inside a small cubicle, Guddu's mother Kaushalya Yadav, however, sprang to the defence of her son: 'I am a cancer patient and my son used to meet all the expenses of my treatment'

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