The victim Brajesh Pal was allegedly abducted from Bhognipur on July 16 and his body was found in Devrahat area of Kanpur’s Kanakheda village on Tuesday evening.
Pal used to work as a manager at a toll plaza on the Kanpur-Jhansi highway. On July 16, he had gone to work at the toll plaza and stayed there till midnight. Due to being at work for so long, he decided to sleep in the toll plaza premises.
In the morning, when the security staff arrived at the toll plaza, they found it locked from inside and a search was launched for Pal. When his cousin dialled his phone, a stranger received the call and demanded Rs 20 lakh in ransom.
Soon after receiving the call from kidnappers, Pal’s family reached the police station with the audio clip.
On Tuesday, police managed to nab one of Pal’s acquaintances who led the team to the well where the victim’s body was found.
The family further alleged lapses in the investigation done by the police which led to Pal being found dead.
They said Pal’s cousins were taken to the police station and were allegedly beaten up. One of the cousin’s hand was fractured, the family alleged, and another one also sustained injuries.
Taking note of the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said strict actions will be taken against the accused and that he is considering charging them under National Security Act (NSA) “that empowers the concerned government to keep a suspect in jail for 12 months without any charge”. Adityanath also announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to Brajesh Pal’s family.
A recent spate of kidnappings in Uttar Pradesh has brought into limelight the goonda raj in the state. The state police have also come under scanner because of its negligence.
Last week, a 28-year-old lab technician, Sanjeet Yadav from Kanpur was kidnapped on June 22 and his abductors had demanded a ransom of Rs 30 lakh for his release. An FIR was registered at Barra police station.
Sanjeet Yadav’s family alleged that they managed to arrange Rs 30 lakh on UP Police’s insistence. The family said they threw the money on a railway track on July 13. Yadav’s captors took the money but they did not release him. All this while, the police did not do anything, the family alleged.
Following the incident, the Uttar Pradesh government had suspended four police personnel, including IPS officer Aparna Gupta, for laxity in the probe into the kidnapping and murder of the Kanpur lab technician.
In a gruesome act, a class 6 student was kidnapped and killed within hours of his abduction with the miscreants proceeding on to demand a ransom of Rs 1 crore from his father. The body of the 14-year-old boy was recovered from a jungle area near a canal here on Monday evening, said police.
The 14-year-old son of a grocery and ‘paan’ shop owner was kidnapped from Pipraich area on Sunday and killed by the kidnappers the same night, they added.
Police said a total of five persons have been arrested for their alleged role in the kidnapping-cum-murder of the boy and police are looking for two more.
Two station heads have been suspended in UP’s Ghaziabad in connection with the death of a journalist who was mercilessly thrashed and murdered by nine individuals in front of his two daughters. A sub-inspector was also suspended over the murder of journalist Vikram Joshi. All of the suspects have been arrested.
“LAXITY WON’T BE TOLERATED”
Facing flak, the state Director General of Police (DGP) Hitesh Awasthi issued directives to all district police chiefs asking them to ensure there is a prompt probe in kidnapping complaints and the victims are safely rescued.
A statement issued here by the police department said that the DGP’s directives, “which are routine”, included immediate registration of FIR and spot inspection by senior officers.
The DGP said that no laxity will be tolerated in such cases and added that if it is alleged by victim’s family that kidnapping was done for any particular motive, it should be mentioned in the FIR.
The directives said that teams of senior officers should be constituted to work out such cases and within 24 hours photographs and details of victims should be sent to other states also for their help, if needed.
“An eye should be kept on those involved in such incidents in the past and surveillance should be used for this,” the DGP said adding that interrogation’s video recording, polygraph, brain mapping and NARCO analysis should also be conducted after following legal ways.
He said that for working out such incidents, help of NGOs such as anti-human trafficking, child line and other organisations could also be taken.
OPPOSITION ATTACKS UP GOVT
Reacting on the DGP directives, Samajwadi Party spokesman Sharvendra Bikram Singh said, “It is laughable that DGP has to issue directives for checking kidnapping”. “It’s already part of the police training and their job. It seems the government is confused how to control the law and order,” he said.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wrote to Chief Minister Adityanath alleging that “kidnapping incidents are increasing rapidly in Uttar Pradesh”.
“Law and order is deteriorating. At this time, it is the responsibility of the police and administration to take action in such matters with promptness and efficiency,” she said.
She raised the matter of Vikram Tyagi, a businessman from Ghaziabad who has been missing for almost a month. Tyagi’s family suspects that he has been kidnapped, Priyanka Gandhi said.
SP National President Akhilesh Yadav said, “there is no fear of police in minds of criminals and encounter policy of the state government has failed.”
(With inputs from PTI)