Kanpur: A week after the family of a 28-year-old man in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur alleged that a team of cops failed to stop his kidnappers from escaping with Rs 30 lakh ransom, the police has said the man was killed by the kidnappers last month. Sanjeet Yadav’s body, however, has still not been recovered.
While two police officers- IPS officer Aparna Gupta and a station house officer – have been suspended, the police has said that no money was given to the kidnappers.
Sanjeet Yadav worked as a technician at a private lab in Kanpur, about 90 km from state capital Lucknow. He was kidnapped last month. Last week, a probe was ordered after his family staged a two-hour sit-in protest outside Kanpur police chief Dinesh Kumar P’s office. They alleged they were asked to arrange a ransom of Rs 30 lakh by a team of cops and hand over the cash to kidnappers. The family said they handed over the cash on July 13, however, the accused managed to escape despite heavy police presence.
The family later said they were “pressured” by the police to say that “no money was taken from them”.
Some men, who have been arrested in the kidnapping and murder case, are Sanjeet’s “friends” and “ex-colleagues”, police said on Thursday.
“On June 23, a missing complaint was filed by the family of Sanjeet Yadav. It was turned into a first information report (FIR) on June 26. Three days later, the family received a ransom call. A special team of crime branch and other officers was looking into the case. Some people were arrested on Thursday; they were Sanjeet’s friends and had earlier worked with him. It is suspected they had killed him on June 26 or 27,” Dinesh Kumar P, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kanpur said on Thursday.
“Now, teams have been formed to find the body.”
Sanjeet Yadav’s family – clinging on to the hope of finding him for over a month – was shattered yesterday as the police officers broke the news of the 28-year-old’s death to them. Heart-breaking visuals showed them trying to console each-other.
More than 15 ransom calls were made to the family, they said. His sister had last week told reporters: “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.”
“But they made us pay the money and my brother has also not been released. The police kept 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 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 had asked.
IPS officer Aparna Gupta had then claimed “the allegations against the police are false”, adding that “their teams were trying to crack the case”.
An assurance had also come from the Kanpur police chief. “If anyone has erred from our side, we will punish them. If any money has been exchanged that money will be recovered for sure,” Dinesh Kumar P had said.
“The family is claiming that they have given the ransom amount of Rs 30 lakh to the kidnappers. As per the investigation till now, we found that no ransom amount has been given,still we are probing the case from all angles,” Inspector General of Police (Kanpur range) Mohit Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI today.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked the Yogi Adityanath government over the case. “In Uttar Pradesh, law and order has crumbled… people are losing lives. Whether it’s home, office, nobody feels safe anymore. After Vikram Joshi, now Sanjeet Yadav’s murder in Kanpur,” she tweeted in Hindi, referring to journalist Vikram Joshi’s death in Ghaziabad on Wednesday.
“According to the reports, police got kidnappers the ransom and then he was murdered. This is a new age of “rule of goons”. In this age, law and order has surrendered in front of goons,” she wrote in another post.