COIMBATORE:The Coimbatore city police have arrested four persons, including two members of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), on kidnapping and murder-attempt charges.
Two of them, S Bhuvaneshwar (26) of Tirupur and S Karthikeyan (30) of Maniyakaranpalayam, had approached the two VCK members, State student wing secretary P Kannan (38) and G Balakrishnan (33) to kidnap S Venkatesh (38) of Pari Nagar, near Sungam. Venkatesh, a partner and marketing executive in a steel business, owed Bhuvaneshwar and Karthikeyan Rs 11 lakh.
The VCK members, along with the investors, allegedly abducted Venkatesh to realise from him the money.
Karthikeyan and Venkatesh, along with one Senthil, had invested money in a steel business near Sulur, being run by P Prabhu. Venkatesh was also a marketing executive of the company. They were trading steel from a store near Ganapathy.
A few months ago, Senthil withdrew his share in the venture due to mounting losses. Venkatesh had to settle Rs 11 lakh with Karthikeyan and Bhuvaneshwar, about which there had been some disputes.
They approached the two VCK men and hatched a plan to kidnap Venkatesh. They met Venkatesh at a local restaurant, abducted him, took away his belongings and took him to an isolated house at Neelikonampalayam, where he was tied up and beaten with an iron rod.
The kidnappers then made Venkatesh call Prabhu and order a load of steel, worth a few lakh rupees, to be sent to a specified location. Prabhu, who had no knowledge of the kidnapping, thought that it was a routine order.
Prabhu then tried calling the place where the delivery was to be made. He spoke to Venkatesh, who was still in Neelikonampalayam with his captors. However, as the conversation aroused his suspicion, Prabhu asked Venkatesh to come to his office at Race Course.
Meanwhile, the Race Course police, who had been informed of the matter, lay in wait for the men. They surrounded them near the office and arrested them. The four men were later handed over to the Ramanathapuram police late on Saturday night.
The four have been booked under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 447 (criminal trespass), 363 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapons) and 307 (attempt to murder).
The police are searching for the driver of the vehicle in which Venkatesh was kidnapped as he was able to flee from the place.