Sudhir Mahajan, the managing director of leading sports goods manufacturing company BD Mahajan and Sons Pvt Ltd, was abducted along with his driver Ravinder yesterday night while returning from office, just 5 km from his residence in Defence Colony here. However, in less than 24 hours, he was back home.
Mahajan was released by the gang of kidnappers in Falawada area of Meerut this evening. The police came to know about the release after he called up his family members soon after he was let go by the gang of kidnappers, confirmed sources in STF.
Mahajan’s driver Ravinder has came out as the mastermind behind the kidnapping. He is yet to be arrested.
Meanwhile, Meerut SSP K Satya Narayan claimed that the police rescued Mahajan following an encounter with the gang of kidnappers in the forest of Sanauta village in Falawada area. They have arrested three of the accused — Sushil, Omveer and Manoj — from the spot while others escaped, he claimed.
He also claimed that no ransom was paid by the Mahajan family.
Satya Narayan said that Mahajan’s driver Ravinder of Kithor area of Meerut had planned the kidnapping with the help of his associates — who belong to Kithor, Mawana and Falawada areas. The victim told the police that the kidnappers initially had taken him to Mawana forest, where they stayed till early morning and later moved to a sugarcane field at Sanauta village. He was shifted from the cane field to Sanauta forest later in the morning from where he was rescued, claimed the SSP.
However, STF sources told The Indian Express that Ravinder’s family members and relatives were picked up this morning as his role was suspected in the kidnapping. The pressure mounted by his family members forced the gang to release Mahajan, the sources added.
The sources also said that Ravinder had stopped the car at Ganga Nagar while taking Mahajan home in his Honda City car (UP 78 4808). Three of his associates, who were waiting for him at the place, got into the car and took Mahajan at gunpoint. They left the car at Mawana and stayed in the forest till 4 am. The victim was later shifted to a sugarcane field where the kidnappers kept him till his release in the evening. Mahajan reached Sanauta village and informed his family members about his release.
Station Officer (SO) of Falawada police station was asked to receive Mahajan from Sanauta village and bring him to the SSP’s residence, the sources added.
The STF sources said that the kidnappers made five calls — from Mahajan’s phone — demanding ransom of Rs 2 crore in the night and the last one was made at 6.30 am today. While they stuck to the amount of Rs 2 crore, Mahajan’s family members started bargaining from Rs 2 lakh and had offered Rs 20 lakh till the last call for the ransom was made.
“The abductors threatened the family against informing the police,” said a senior police officer.
However, the family had already informed the police and the mobile number had been put on technical surveillance. With the help of this, the police traced the location of the phone to near the victim’s residence, where raids were conducted. This led to the discovery of Mahajan’s car on the Falawada main road. All that the police recovered from the abandoned car was a crate of eggs tied with a rope.
Mahajan’s company is among the biggest manufacturers and exporters of cricket bats, balls and other equipment in the country, all sold under the brand name BDM.
Meerut Range DIG Zaki Ahmed said the kidnappers used Mahajan’s mobile phone to make the calls.