| Chandan (left) with DIG Anurag Gupta. Picture by Pankaj Kumar
Dhanbad/Bokaro, Nov. 5: A Class IX student of DPS Bokaro claimed he was kidnapped this morning but he managed to escape and return home after jumping out of the vehicle in which he was being driven and then hitching a ride on the back of a bus.
Chandan Kumar, the son of a Bokaro journalist, reached the school as usual around 7.45 am but instead of entering, he went to buy a pen from a nearby stationery store.
Chandan was still at the shop when something “pricked” him. “Something sharp pricked my back and I felt I was passing out,” the 15-year-old boy said in Dhanbad. “I could only understand that five well-dressed men were putting me in the boot of a silver colour Maruti van and the door shut on me. Slowly I lost consciousness.”
When he regained consciousness, he realised he was crossing Mahuda, about 25 km off Dhanbad. He could make out the place from a hotel he had visited with his father.
Looking around the van, Chandan saw several car number plates strewn around him.
Chandan said he asked his abductors where they were taking him but was rudely told to keep shut. “If you do not keep quiet, we are going to repeat the same thing to your school principal that was done to Sreeleathers owner Ashish Dey in Jamshedpur,” the boy quoted one of his captors as saying.
Silent and faking sleep, Chandan kept looking for a chance to jump out. He heard one of the men talking on his mobile phone.
“He was directing the other person not to shoot the principal unless he ordered. He also said that it was the wrong guy that they had picked up,” Chandan (in picture by Pankaj Kumar on left with DIG Anurag Gupta) said.
The van stopped near the Mahuda railway crossing and, seeing an opportunity, Chandan said he lifted the van door, jumped out and ran over to the other side of the crossing second before the train crossed, leaving his captors stranded.
He saw a bus bound for Dhanbad and jumped on to its rear and hung on for dear life. He reached the house of the divisional forest officer Sanjeev Kumar, a friend of Chandan’s father Ashok Akela. “I had often taken him to his bungalow so he remembered,” Akela said.
The DFO then took the boy to Bokaro and handed him over to his father around 2pm.
Principal of DPS Bokaro Hemlata S. Mohan said there was only one other boy named “Chandan” in the school and he was in Class III.
Mohan also discounted the theory that the kidnappers could have targeted her son, who is working outside the state.
Police sources said they believed Chandan’s story as he has a reputation of being a good student.
Mohan said she had often in the past received anonymous threat calls, most of them at the time of admission.