Kanpur Kidnapping Case: Those found at fault would be punished, police chief said.
A probe has been ordered by the police chief in Kanpur city of Uttar Pradesh after a team of cops allegedly failed to stop the kidnappers of a 29-year-old man from escaping with Rs 30 lakh ransom. The 29-year-old is still in the custody of kidnappers, according to the family.
The inquiry was ordered after the family members of the man staged a two-hour long sit-in protest outside the office of Kanpur police chief Dinesh Kumar P on Tuesday. The man, who works at a pathology lab in Kanpur, was allegedly kidnapped for ransom on June 22.
While speaking to the reporters, the family said the cops at Kanpur's Barra police station had asked them to arrange for Rs 30 lakh and hand over the cash to the men who had made over 15 calls to the family since the day of the kidnapping. They had been asking for ransom and threatening to kill the man if the money was not paid.
The family was asked to pay the ransom on Monday. They told the media the cops from Kanpur's Barra police station had assured them they would have a sizable presence at the site where the cash would be handover and they would arrest the kidnappers as soon as they took the ransom.
On Monday, however, things did not go as planned.
"We had earlier approached Aparna Gupta, an IPS officer in-charge of the area, and asked her to arrange for the bag with the ransom money to be tracked. She had assured us that all arrangements would be made," said a distraught sister of the man.
"But they made us pay the money and my brother has also not been released. The police kept on saying we will get back the money even if it was handed over. But the first priority is to recover your family member. A police team was with us at all the time. The alleged kidnappers kept on talking to my father for 30 minutes on the phone before the ransom was taken. He made my father throw the money bag from the top of a flyover on a road below. Did the police not anticipate all this?," she asked.
The family also told the media they are from a lower middle-class background and had to sell their home and jewellery to arrange the cash.
"The allegations against the police are false. Our teams are working on this case and we hope to crack it soon. I have full sympathy with the family. Whenever they met me, I also explained to them all details about the case and we took them into confidence. We have not hidden anything from the family. This case is a top priority for us," said Aparna Gupta, the IPS officer named by the family during their protest on Tuesday.
After outrage over the incident, Kanpur's police chief issued a late-night statement saying that action would be taken against those found at fault.
"I have taken note of the incident. I am speaking to the family. If anyone has erred from our side, we will punish them. If any money has been exchanged that money will be recovered for sure," said Dinesh Kumar P.
The incident has also attracted criticism from UP's opposition parties. Former chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeting: "Despite being informed by helpless relatives, who is protecting the people who escaped with ransom, who are these people who have no fear of the police."