Parents of Rehan Gupta — the Class I student of Vivekanand Public School who was kidnapped on January 25 — can breathe again! After an excruciating wait of 12 days, the boy was reunited with his family once again, thanks to the daring rescue attempt by Delhi Police crime branch.
The boy was rescued yesterday from Sahibabad in UP after midnight. The crime team engaged in a fierce gun battle with the kidnappers, killing one and injuring two.
City Spidey tried to get in touch with Rehan’s parents in South Shahadara, but fearing press attention they left for their parental house in Nangloi after receiving the boy from the police during the early hours of the morning.
Later in the afternoon today, Delhi police informed that the assailants had attempted to kidnap the boy on three occasions from the same stretch during the last four months — and every time met with failure. Surprisingly, all the three attempts went unnoticed.
It all started after Rehan’s father, a small businessman, received Rs 60 lakh through a customer. The police, however, refused to reveal his name.
“It was a preplanned act of three friends — Ravi, Pankaj and Nitin, all residents of Gokulpuri. Pankaj and Ravi were keeping an eye on the child, while Nitin was scouting for a hideout. Nitin booked a 3-BHK flat, B-505, on the fifth floor of an apartment in Shalimar Garden in Shahibabad area,” explained RP Upadhyay, Special Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch Delhi).
He also hinted at the involvement of a woman, but refused to reveal her name. She is currently under interrogation.
For the first three days, the case was jointly investigated Shahadara and GTP Enclave police, and later handed over to the crime branch. Upadhayay said, on preliminary investigation, it was clear that the kidnappers had taken the Shahibabad route. “Different teams of police worked through technical surveillance, groundwork and various tip-offs,” he said.
“Once we were sure about the kidnappers, we took three days to locate their hideout. Cops followed the activities of Nitin, as only he left the flat to get supplies. Last night, when Nitin was purchasing some food from the nearby market, cops accosted him. He soon confessed to the location of the flat,” recounted Upadhyay.
Once the location of the hideout became known, the main concern was the child’s safety. There were two ways to get entry into the flat — one from front side and the second from balcony.
Of the three assailants, one would stay with child, another one take guard with a loaded pistol and Nitin would keep a close eye on the surrounding area.
“We knew the kidnappers had firearms, and if we started firing on them they could harm the child. Safety and security of the child was our first priority. One of the cops knocked the flat’s door saying Nitin had sent him with food. Pankaj opened the door, and suspecting that it was police fired one shot and shut the door. We asked them to handover the child safely, and they would be left unhurt. But they started firing. Police too fired three rounds, and Ravi was shot dead while Pankaj received bullet injuries, but is stable now,” Upadhay said.