A Tura resident on his way to Bongaigaon in Assam was kidnapped last night in the neighbouring state’s Goalpara district but was rescued by police.
Pawan Ray was on his way with a friend to pick up a relative when the car he was travelling in was stopped on the highway between Paikan and Agia at around 11:30pm.
The victim was later rescued by Meghalaya police near the Gaptuli Forest Reserve close to Phulbari in West Garo Hills early this morning after the victim’s wife informed the police of the kidnapping.
Four suspects in the kidnapping have also been arrested with the police currently on the lookout for more members of the same gang that were allegedly involved in the crime.
The armed criminals had dragged the victim and the driver from the car and thrashed them before allowing the driver to leave after robbing him of his phone and money.
“We received information at about 2:39am, this morning from the wife of Ray that he had been kidnapped by some unknown persons. She had received a call from the driver. The vehicle was also taken by the criminals,” said West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police MGR Kumar.
The SP added that early today, the wife got a call from her husband’s phone where the kidnappers demanded a ransom for his release.
Police received credible input from sources that the vehicle was seen near the Shillong Bypass whereas the victim was seen near Bamundanga, Paham in Tikrikilla.
A special operations team was immediately formed with personnel from the Tikrikilla and Phulbari police stations.
“A search and rescue operation was conducted near the Gaptuli Reserve. Upon seeing the approaching policemen, the abductors fled the scene, leaving the victim. We were able to catch one of the gang members (Md Raju Ali of Nolbari, Assam),” informed Kumar.
The vehicle that was driven away by one of the gang members was recovered.
A case in the matter has been registered at Tikrikilla Police Station.
“We are on the lookout for other gang members, who we suspect are armed,” added the SP.
Another member of the gang has been identified as one Babul Ali with all the criminals allegedly belonging to Assam.
“They had planned to keep the victim in the Gaptuli Reserve with the help of a local person who was known to them. We are on the lookout for him as well,” stated Kumar.