Bank badgers missing techie’s family for car loan

Bank badgers missing techie’s family for car loan

Kumar Ajitabh's sister Pragya Sinha addresses a press meet in Bengaluru on Friday. DH Photo

Amid the struggles of Kumar Ajitabh's family to find out what happened to the techie six-and-a-half months ago, the bank where he took his car loan from is harassing his father for repayment.

Ajitabh (29) bought a Maruthi Suzuki Ciaz in April 2017 by taking a car loan of Rs 5 lakh. Till December, the EMI of more than Rs 30,000 was getting auto-debited from his salary account without any trouble, but it stopped from January. Bank officials have since been badgering Ajitabh's father Ashok K Sinha to repay the loan.

"We have informed the bank that it is a case of kidnap with the car and the police are still probing the case. But the bank continues to press us for money," Ajitabh's brother-in-law Mimic Zadoo told DH. 

The missing techie's sister Pragya Sinha said their father is ill and has been admitted in a private hospital in Patna for treatment.

On Friday, Ajitabh's brother Kumar Arnab, Pragya and Zadoo demanded a CBI probe into the case. They were not too optimistic over the probe by the local police, SIT or CID.

"Who will fly drones to search for my brother and his car? These are all just to show that they are doing something on the case," a visibly shaken Pragya told a press meet, adding that the criminals have outsmarted the police using technology.

As the family's hopes get thinner, they seek answers from the authorities and the government. Investigating officials have conveyed to the family that the probe has hit a dead end and will continue only after they receive information from Google, Facebook and WhatsApp about what transpired between Ajitabh and the prospective buyer.

Ajitabh reached Gunjur by following the route on Google maps. His phone and the prospective buyer's phone were active until around 7.10 pm, after which both the numbers went silent. Ajitabh disappeared under mysterious circumstances on December 18. He was last seen while leaving to sell his car to a buyer on OLX.

The family requested information from Google, Facebook and WhatsApp through diplomatic channels, contacting the Union home ministry, and learnt the laws are governed by the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). It will take a while for the information to come from these conglomerates after scrutiny of privacy policies. "What's the point of these treaties if they can't save a life?" Pragya asked.

While the police should have acted immediately after Ajitabh's missing on the evening of December 18, there was no progress during the first week as they filed a missing case on December 20. But the probe picked up pace after the police added the IPC section on abduction on December 29.

"We are planning for a silent protest if there is no progress after the court hearing on July 2. We want the case to be handed over to the CBI," Pragya added.