A friendship that developed again with a former schoolmate turned into a nightmare for a 17-year-old girl after he kidnapped her and forced her to stay with him for two months.
The Pune police, who were approached by her parents, finally tracked them down in Lucknow at a rented room in a slum with the help of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF). The victim was rescued and the suspect, Ashish Ravindra Pawar (21) of Malegaon, arrested.
The victim studies at a college in Paud. Both the victim and the suspect, hail from Malegaon and were schoolmates. They met again through a social networking website and exchanged cellphone numbers.
The girl's father registered a missing person complaint at Warje Malwadi police station on September 19. During investigation, the police found that the victim was kidnapped by Ashish, a first year student of automobile engineering at DY Patil College, Wagholi.
With the police failing to trace the girl after a month, her parents approached the city police commissioner, Meeran Borwankar, for speedy action. She directed the anti-dacoity cell to probe the matter, which cracked the case.
On Friday, Ashish was produced before the judicial magistrate (first class) where he was remanded in police custody till December 3.
Police inspector of the anti-dacoity cell, Ram Jadhav, said, "The victim and Ashish used to interact. But the friendship took an ugly turn after Ashish proposed to the girl and she refused. On September 19, Ashish met the victim on her college campus and threatened to kill her and her parents. The victim was forcibly taken to Shirdi in a public transport bus and from there they took a lift to Malegaon. They then took a train to Jhansi and then proceeded to Lucknow."
Assistant police inspector, Yashwant Fulwade, said on reaching Lucknow they resided at a lodge. "But Ashish felt insecure there and took on rent a room in a slum area. In the last week of November, we came to know that Ashish is residing in Lucknow. So our team reached there and we took the help of the UP STF and started a manhunt."
A case was filed on Thursday against Ashish at Warje Malwadi police station under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860, for kidnapping. "During investigation, Ashish revealed that some of his friends supported him, so we are searching for them," Fulwade said.
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