CHENNAI: In a dramatic operation, the Kancheepuram police on Thursday rescued a 28-year-old software engineer who was kidnapped by a gang for ransom when he was returning from night duty at Navalur.
Much to the shock of the police, the kidnappers were found to be BE graduates, all below 26 years of age, with no criminal history. They seemed to have carried out the abduction just to make quick money.
The victim Premkumar, 28, a native of Telangana and working in the HCL Technologies in an IT park at Navalur, was waiting for bus around 1 am on Thursday when the gang kidnapped him, forcing him into a car.
As Premkumar’s did not return and his cellphone was also switched off, his roommate Sandeep grew suspicious. Around 4 pm on Thursday, he received a call from Premkumar’s number and the man who spoke at the other end demanded `50 lakh for Premkumar’s release. “Sandeep managed to convince the callers that he would not be able to arrange such a huge amount, but agreed to pay `1.5 lakh,” said ADSP G Tamilselvan
Sandeep informed the police, and at 7 pm, he reached a spot at Kelambakkam pm as directed by the gang. However, they asked him to walk and come to another place. They kept on changing the spot in such a way that he ended up walking for six hours from Kelambakkam to the Crocodile Park on ECR. After a few hours, the police team took Sandeep inside a vehicle and deployed another Sub-Inspector wearing Sandeep’s dress to walk carrying the cash.
Meanwhile, a team of police officers in mufit was around in the guise of auto passengers and motorists. The police, with the help of cyber wing, was also tracking the cellphone location of the kidnappers. “Around 1 am a man came on motorbike from the wrong side on ECR near Crocodile Park and asked the SI (assuming him to be Sandeep) to hand over the cash bag,” said a police officer.
The police team soon surrounded him. Enquiries revealed that his name was Parthipan (22). Later, when the other gang members called him, he informed them that he had received the money, as instructed by the police.Based on information given by Parthiban, police surrounded the two cars waiting at Kelampakkam and arrested Praveen Balaji (25), who is believed to be the mastermind of the kidnap. His relative Vivek Raj (26) and another associate Jayaseelan (19) were also arrested. Both Praveen Balaji and Vivek Raj were BE graduates and Praveen Balaji was running a laptop service shop.
Investigations revealed that Praveen Bajali’s friend used to park his two cars in front of Balaji’s flat due to lack of space. The gang used these two cars to carry out the kidnap. They planned to kidnap Premkumar after spotting him at the bus stop. They tied him up in a deserted area all night long and took him to a lodge in Mahabalipuram. “The entire police team was very dedicated and spent the entire night tracking the kidnappers,” said N K Senthamaraikannan, Inspector General of Police, North Zone.