Bihar Police fail to trace doctor, wife abducted three days ago

Bihar Police fail to trace doctor, wife abducted three days ago

More than 72 hours have elapsed since the abduction of prominent Gaya-based physician Dr Pankaj Gupta and his wife while they were returning from Giridh in Jharkhand, and there is still no trace of them.

Gupta’s BSNL cellphone and his wife Shubra’s Airtel mobile were switched off since the couple was believed to have been abducted near Barachatti, 35 km south-east of Gaya, purportedly by an inter-state gang active in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The couple was returning in their high-end Audi car after attending a wedding in Giridih on Friday afternoon when they were abducted from the same spot near Barachatti from where the gang had reportedly kidnapped Rohtas-based contractor Ravi Ranjan Singh earlier this year.

Singh, who is related to an influential bureaucrat as well as former state BJP president, was reportedly taken to UP and confined somewhere between Lucknow and Kanpur. His family is said to have paid a ransom of Rs 2 crore for his safe release.

Police officials probing the Guptas' case feel the same modus operandi has been used in this abduction, and do not rule out the involvement of someone close to the doctor.

“GT Road has CCTV cameras at all toll plazas. Other than at the Barhi toll plaza near Chouparan, no other CCTV camera has captured the Audi car. From this point, one road leads to Jharkhand while the other goes straight to Varanasi. But with no sign of the couple or the car, it is suspected that the Guptas might have been abducted in a meticulously-planned manner through a 16-wheeler goods carrier vehicle. They could have been taken to UP or Jharkhand,” a source told Deccan Herald, quoting police officials probing the matter.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed Bihar DGP P K Thakur to ensure the Guptas' safe release, following which Zonal IG A K Ambedkar and IG (CID) Vinay Kumar are camping in Gaya.

A six-member team of police officers have been constituted to crack the case.
While Gaya City SP Rakesh Kumar has been sent to Lucknow to find out the details of the contractor's kidnapping case, the other team is zeroing in on a Jharkhand-based gang headed by Ajay Singh, whose other accomplices have recently been released from jail.

The cops are also probing the role of a gang that abducted Gujarat-based businessman Sohail Hingora from Daman and brought him to Bihar, before releasing him in the Diara area of North Bihar after a hefty sum as ransom was paid.

Bihar health minister mouths a shocker

In a huge embarrassment to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, state Health Minister Ramdhani Singh on Monday said it was good that the kidnappers had abducted both the husband and his wife, referring to the kidnapping of Dr Pankaj Gupta and his spouse, reports DHNS from Patna.

“Normally, the husband is kidnapped. At times, a woman is abducted. But in this case, the kidnappers have abducted both the husband and the wife. They will at least stay together during their confinement,” said Ramdhani, hand-picked by Nitish to look after the health department.

The Bihar Health Service Association and the state unit of the Indian Medical Association decried the minister’s statement and issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Nitish government for the safe release of the couple.

Modus operandi

“There are different gangs assigned with different jobs. While one gang does reki (keep tab on movements) of the ‘prey’, the other one kidnaps him/her. The third one takes the prey to an undisclosed location, while the fourth one handles the ransom amount. Once the deal is clinched, all the different gangs disperse to different States before again regrouping for another prey,” a DSP rank official explained the modus operandi to Deccan Herald on Monday.

Health minister mouths a shocker

In a huge embarrassment to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, state Health Minister Ramdhani Singh on Monday said it was good that the kidnappers had abducted both the husband and his wife, referring to the kidnapping of Dr Pankaj Gupta and his spouse, reports DHNS from Patna.

“Normally, the husband is kidnapped. At times, a woman is abducted. But in this case, the kidnappers have abducted both the husband and the wife. They will at least stay together during their confinement,” said Ramdhani, hand-picked by Nitish to look after the health department.

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