Quick-thinking trader foils abduction
Ranchi: A 60-year-old trader used sheer presence of mind to escape from the clutches of his abductors in the small hours of Thursday.
Surendra Tiwari, who owns a hosiery business in Bero on the outskirts of the capital, was whisked away in an SUV by a gang of four from near his residence around 8pm on Wednesday. He faked toilet urgency to alert a police patrol when the gang stopped at a highway petrol bunk in Raidih, Gumla, more than 100km from here, around 4.15am.
Raidih thana OC Rajesh Kumar Singh said the abductors, aged between 25 and 30 years, managed to give police the slip, but they had seized the SUV used in the crime.
"Soon after the trader was abducted, the vehicle fell into a muddy ditch in nearby Tuko and got stuck. The victim said his abductors tried to retrieve the SUV for four hours, but failed. They borrowed a pick-up truck and resumed their journey," the OC said.
A stone's throw from Raidih thana, they stopped for fuel. Tiwari spotted a patrol vehicle nearby and knew it was his only chance. He told his abductors that he urgently needed to go to the toilet.
"Two members of the gang were escorting him to the toilet when Tiwari mustered courage and made a dash for the police patrol, screaming for help. His abductors fled in the pick-up van," OC Singh said.
Ranchi police later seized the SUV from Tuko. The vehicle is registered in the name of one Shatrudhan Tiwari, a Gumla resident and a distant relative of the victim.
OC Singh said Gumla SP Anshuman Kumar had alerted all police stations in the district after the abduction was reported around Wednesday midnight and directed intensive patrolling. "We suspect the abductors are familiar with Gumla and were also aware of patrolling orders. So, they avoided main roads, but had to stop for fuel in Raidih."
Tiwari has told police that they should not rule out involvement of his relatives and business rivals.
Bero DSP Sanjay Kumar said an FIR had been lodged. "The gang also robbed the trader of Rs 42,000 he had in person. We have alerted thanas. The men will be nabbed."
Dead boys in pond
Bodies of two boys - Saran (9) and Anand (8) - were recovered from a pond at Barhara village under Town thana area on Thursday. Both boys were missing since Wednesday morning. Town thana OC Braj Kishore Prasad suspects it to be a case of drowning.