CRIME WATCH: Abductors demand Rs 5 lakh for jeweller – Siliguri Corridor under dread ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Malda, July 16: A jeweller was abducted from his shop at gunpoint yesterday with a ransom call for Rs 5 lakh coming in two hours later on his brother’s cellphone.
Till late this evening, police were clueless about the whereabouts of Jewel Ali, the 28-year-old jeweller, although his family members claimed that they identified the kidnappers who had visited the shop a week ago.
The abductors came to Ali’s shop at Puranpur in Rauta, 40km from here, around seven in the evening in the guise of customers. They robbed over 100 grams of gold from him at gunpoint and took him away in the car in which they had come. The jeweller’s elder brother Monirul Sheikh lodged a complaint with Ratua police immediately. About two hours later, around 9pm, the abductors called up Monirul’s cellphone and asked for Rs 5 lakh to free Ali. They also threatened to kill the jeweller if the money was not delivered.
Monirul told reporters today that he was not at home when the abductors raided the shop attached to their house. Besides Ali, two employees were also at the shop. He came to know about the incident from them. “The kidnappers had hit my mother Hameda Bewa with the butt of a revolver when she came to the rescue of Ali. She had to be taken to a nursing home,” Monirul said.
As the news spread, local people gathered at the site. The police also arrived.
“There was a power cut in the area when the incident took place. So, nobody could guess what was going on at the shop till the employees raise the alarm after the abductors had fled. Such type of incident is unprecedented in the area,” a resident said.
Secretary of the Ratua Babsayee Samity Ashok Agarwal has threatened to launch a movement if the abductors are not arrested. Local shops remained closed during the day to protest the incident.
Jayanta Kundu, the secretary of the Malda Zilla Babsayee Samiti, said the abduction had created a fear psychosis among the traders of Ratua. He wondered what the police had been doing for the past 24 hours.
District superintendent of police Bhuban Mondal said efforts were being made since last night to arrest the culprits. Ali’s family members said they had identified the abductors, who had visited the shop a week ago, pretending to buy ornaments. “The kidnappers were from adjacent areas. We are trying to catch them based on their calls from the cellphone,” said Mondal.