A few contract employees of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) on Friday kidnapped a former special officer of the varsity who had allegedly duped them by promising to regularise their employment.
Police, however, acted fast and not only rescued the victim within four hours of the crime but also caught three of the suspected kidnappers.
The former special officer (on deputation), S K Dhulkhed, was riding to a private engineering college where he is presently employed when a group ‘D’ employee of the VTU caused an accident with a motorcycle around 9.30 am. As an argument ensued, another group ‘D’ employee, Ashok Mattikoppa, drove up in a rented Chevrolet Tavera. The two men then bundled Dhulkhed into the car and drove off, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Radhika G told journalists.
Police dashed to the spot after receiving information and found two motorcycles abandoned there.
They also found some documents in one of the motorcycles, which was later identified as Dhulkhed’s. The owner of the other motorcycle is still being traced.
Police surmised that the kidnap could be linked to the multi-crore recruitment scam in the VTU, in which Dhulkhed is the main accused.
They looked for employees who had filed a cheating complaint against Dhulkhed and other senior officials of the VTU at Belagavi rural police station on June 10, 2016.
The complainants alleged that officials had pocketed Rs 2 lakh to Rs 4 lakh from each of the 320 contract employees of the university for regularising their service.
The search led police to Ashok Mattikoppa, an employee who once tried to commit suicide outside Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, demanding justice in the scam. Police found out that Dhulkhed had been taken to Bairanatti village in Baihongal taluk.
They raided the house and rescued him, besides arresting Mattikoppa, another employee Bhimappa Nayak, Adveppa Kori, a car driver, and seizing a motorcycle. They are on the lookout for three others.
The DCP, who herself is investigating the scam, said the suspects had beaten up Dhulkhed demanding their money back.