A former district BJP office-bearer and his two accomplices were arrested on kidnapping charge in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur Dehat after police freed an astrologer from their captivity, an official said on Tuesday.
They had allegedly demanded Rs 1 crore as ransom for the release of the astrologer while threatening to kill him if the victim's wife informed police or denied to pay the amount.
SP Anurag Vats said the former BJP leader and his accomplices were arrested on Tuesday while the astrologer and his driver were rescued.
The accused were identified as Satyam Chauhan, a former BJP district secretary, his aide Pankaj, both residents of Akbarpur; and Rohit, a resident of Delhi.
"Satyam Chauhan had made a call to astrologer Sushil Tiwari, a resident of Ramnagar, Chirakhadan, Madhya Pradesh, and persuaded him to pay a visit to Kanpur Dehat to have a look at a ''magic box'' which he got recently," the SP said. "Following repeated requests, Sushil Tiwari along with his driver Sunil reached Kanpur Dehat. They were kidnapped by Satyam and his two associates," the SP said, adding that then they called the astrologer's wife.
They threatened to kill the astrologer, if she dared to seek police help or turned down their ransom demand, he said.
Rani Tiwari immediately contacted the Madhya Pradesh police with whom she shared all information. Subsequently, the MP police shared facts with Kanpur Dehat cops who swung into action after registering an FIR on Monday, the SP said. By tracking the mobile phone used to make the ransom calls, police were able to zero in on a location in Rania, the SP said, adding that they raided a house and rescued the kidnapped astrologer and his driver.
Preliminary probe confirmed that the accused had withdrawn Rs 2.35 lakh from Shushil Tiwari's account by using his ATM card, said Additional SP Anoop Srivastava.
Police also recovered an SUV used in the crime.
When contacted, BJP district president (Kanpur Dehat) Avinash Chauhan said Satyam Chauhan was expelled from the party for his "indecent behaviour and anti-party activities" and presently he has "no affiliation with the BJP".
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