Sources confirmed police had made some arrests. The role of the driver, who was hired just a month and a half ago without police verification, is being checked.
Earlier, the family had received two ransom calls demanding Rs 2 crore.
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 send an SMS and make two calls. The last call came at 7 am on Wednesday and the caller said he would call again at noon, but did not, the DIG said.
The kidnapping was reported from Ganga Nagar on Mawana road. Police say Mahajan, MD, Production and Quality, was on his way home in his Honda City car (UP 78 4808) when he was kidnapped. Based on call records, it is believed the abduction happened around 9-9.30 pm on Tuesday.
Police say they have ascertained on the basis of eyewitness accounts that the car had stopped at a point in Mawana road apparently after a breakdown. As Ravinder got off the car to check, another car pulled over and Mahajan and Ravinder were reportedly driven away at gunpoint. The abductors took the Honda City with them.
At 10.30 pm Tuesday, Mahajan’s younger son Siddharth reportedly received a text message on his phone saying Mahajan had been kidnapped and the family should wait for a phone call to explain the matter, said a senior police officer.
The message had been sent from Mahajan’s phone, police said.
Within minutes, the first official ransom call reportedly followed, with the abductors seeking Rs 2 crore for his release. “They threatened the family against informing the police,” said the officer.
However, the family had informed the police immediately after the first SMS, and the mobile numbers 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 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. Police believe Mahajan himself bought the eggs. A forensic team has examined the vehicle.
Police said the abductors also told the family that they would receive the next call at 4 am Wednesday. Next time the abductors called up Mahajan’s elder son Aditya, again from his phone. The family was told that their decision to go to the police was wrong and again demand was made for Rs 2 crore.
Aditya said he had requested the abductors to give his father food at regular intervals as he had low sugar. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said: “I requested the abductors to allow me to speak to my father. They gave him the phone. My father was tense and worried about how the money would be arranged so soon. I told him we would figure it out.”
Suspicion is on Ravinder as the ID proof, mobile number and address he had given to his employers at the time he was hired have all proved to be fake. Family sources said the driver had been employed through word of mouth. “We made enquiries and it turns out that Ravinder served for very short periods at his previous employers. He barely spent 15 days with each of his employers,” said a close relative.
“The driver’s role in the incident is suspicious. We are probing it,” Meerut Police PRO Deepak Tyagi confirmed.
with ENS, Lucknow