A Delhi-based businessman who had come to Kolkata earlier this month and was allegedly kidnapped from his hotel room on Tuesday managed to call police on Saturday that led to his rescue.
Ashok Thapa, 55, a resident of South Extension, a posh neighbourhood of south Delhi, had come to Kolkata on business in the second week of this month.
According to a police officer attached with the probe, Thapa works in the field of hydraulic direct drilling system.
He had won a tender for a project related to a pipeline work in New Town.
“In Kolkata, Thapa had business ties with a man named Kuntal Guchhait,” said the officer.
Thapa owed money to Guchhait, the police said.
“Thapa apparently owed a lot of money to Guchhait. Guchhait allegedly went to Thapa’s room on Tuesday and demanded the money. Thapa told him that he was not carrying that much cash with him. It was then Thapa was taken to a godown,” said an officer in Lalbazar.
According to police, Guchhait had hired three labourers who helped him transport Thapa to the godown.
At the godown Thapa told his kidnappers that he was expecting money from one of his business associates and would be able to pay them once the amount was credited in his bank account.
The captors allegedly took away his phone saying that they would check if the money is actually credited to his bank account or he was bluffing, the police said.
Thapa remained in captivity for four days. The three labourers also stayed with him.
“Guchhait, who is the alleged mastermind, had told the labourers to make sure that Thapa does not have access to his mobile phone. They were also told to make sure that Thapa does not get away from the godown,” an officer said.
“The three men were also asked to provide Thapa meals at regular intervals,” the officer added.
On Saturday, Thapa managed to convince one of the labourers to hand him over his mobile phone saying that he had to make an urgent call to one of his family members, the police said.
“Thapa dialled 100 but he was unable to speak articulately and hence could not share his location. Before returning the phone, he searched Google and found the number to communicate with the Kolkata police commissioner and managed to contact him,” said a senior officer of East division.
Based on an alert generated from Lalbazar, Anandapur police station was informed about Thapa.
Cops tracked him down and rescued him from the godown late on Saturday.
The three labourers have been arrested. They have been identified as Ali, Shahnawaz and Sambhu.
The arrested trio have been charged with kidnapping, wrongful restraint and criminal conspiracy.
The police said they were still looking for Guchhait.