CM's kin kidnapped, rescued in 4 hours

The Kushtagi police have rescued eight-year-old Arvind Dandina, son of a doctor couple, a relative of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, within four hours of his kidnap from Baglkot.

The police arrested three people, including Basavaraj Alagundi, a former employee of the doctor couple, and Chennabasappa alias Cheannabasavaiah, the driver of the Maruti van used in the crime, for the kidnap and demanding a ransom of Rs 25 lakh. The third person involved was Basavaraj Hullur.

Police Circle Inspector Anilkumar Bhoo­mareddy on Tuesday told mediapersons that the prime suspect, Basavaraj Alagundi, was working as a lab technician with Dr Shivakumar Dandina and Dr Archana Dandina, who run a hospital in Bagalkot. He was removed some six months ago as the couple was not happy with his work.

During interrogation, Basavaraj told the police that he was in debt after his marriage a few months ago. He hatched a plan to kidnap the boy as he knew the couple was very rich and the money would help him get out of  financial mess.

The police are also probing whether he was trying to take revenge on the couple for firing him from the job.

On Monday evening, Basavaraj called Arvind while the boy was returning from the Basaveshwara International School. Basavaraj would regularly drop and pick up the boy while working with Dandina couple. The unsuspecting boy walked to him and took a biscuit offered by Basavaraj and fell asleep in the vehicle.

 A couple of hours after kidnap, they made a ransom call from Gudur in Hungund taluk in Baglkot and said they would “harm the boy” if they were not paid Rs 25 lakh.
Immediately police were alerted. As the victim was the chief minister's relative, the operation was kept a secret, but all police stations were alerted.

Circle Police Inspector Neelappa Olekar and constables Sanna Erranna and Chandappa tracked the vehicle near Kushtagi and arrested the three around 8 pm on Monday.
The arrested were presented before a magistrate.

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