galore in the NOIDA kidnapping case
are aspects in the Anant Gupta kidnapping case, which are intriguing
and disturbing. There appears to be more here than meets the eye.
Salman Khurshid of the Congress opposition in Uttar Pradesh has
already gone to town declaring that the case smacks of criminal-politician
nexus. He has voiced a nagging conclusion that's on the minds
of every thinking person who has followed up the traumatic developments
that unfolded in this gripping human drama - which even with its
happy ending has left many questions unanswered.
Anant Gupta, son of Adobe India's CEO Naresh Gupta, was kidnapped
on Monday Oct 13 while being walked up to the school bus stop.
Whisked by two motorcycle riding miscreants from near his Sector
15-A home in NOIDA on the outskirts of Delhi. Naresh Gupta who
was away in the US returned only early Tuesday.
five days then the UP/Gaziabad police were at sea, with no clue
to the whereabouts of the missing child. The child's father Naresh
now claims he received about 15 ransom calls, though the media
got no wind to this. In fact it was given out throughout there
were no ransom calls.
Thursday -16th, Mulayam Singh Yadav, the State Chief Minister
makes a statement publicised in the media, that the child will
be returned safely to his parents.
if on cue and in compliance to Yadav's supreme command, 3-year-old
Anant returns home alone in an autorickshaw the very next day
- on Friday the 17th. The auto driver claims he was given the
boy by two persons at a CNG Pump across the river in Sarita Vihar
(Delhi) and some money to reach him home.
the NOIDA and Gaziabad police authorities and the Uttar Pradesh
Home Secretary issue conflicting statements that the UP STF and
Noida Police rescued the boy in a joint operation at Kakore village
from near the Noida-Bulandshahr border. No details of the rescue
operation are provided. No explanation to the child's unescorted
return home alone in the auto. This still remains a mystery.
the emerging facts a ransom appears to have been paid for the
child's return, though the police at different stages have given
different versions on this - from claiming there was no ransom
at all, then lack of knowledge if at all there was, to finally
admitting they recovered about 50 lakhs of the ransom money from
the house in Kakore village of a relative of one of the accused.
police then go through the charade of press briefings, even presenting
before mediapersons and cameras the ones arrested by them ostensibly
for the crime. The ones arrested -not without the clamour on the
part of their relatives of a frame-up, have corroborated the police
version, even confessing to the crime with details of how and
why they did it. The police could not have had a better spokesperson
than Naresh Gupta, the child's father, whose valiant effort at
convincing the media what a wonderful job the police did, though,
did not cut ice with the news hounds who had by now tasted blood
with the ready made massala being provided to them by the police
on a silver platter. The press briefings end up in a fiasco, the
unanswered questions remaining unanswered, and the police emerging
with egg on their face making a spectacle of themselves before
rolling TV cameras that carried these images to millions of viewers
across the country and elsewhere. The immaturity in media handling
exhibited by the police is another matter - only highlighting
the crying need for the police to measure up on this vital issue.
semantics by breaking-news TV channels have contributed no less
to the confusion. One channel presented in its programme a masked
man, allegedly the leader of a known UP gang, blaming the kidnapping
on two other gangs, who released him only after a ransom of Rs.5
crores was paid, he said. In the face of the conflicting stories
Naresh Gupta's blind support of the police version has raised
eyebrows, but most are charitable not to blame a distraught parent
for probably toeing the line demanded of him and doing whatever
in his might to save his child.
in the resultant confusion, there are questions: Was Anant rescued
at all, or delivered? If rescued, from where exactly was he rescued/
recovered, and by whom? And why the autorickshaw drama? If he
was released and delivered, under what circumstances? And the
ransom? Was there really any exchange of money? If yes, how and
where was the ransom delivered and by whom?
auto driver's expose supported by Anant's grandfather drove gaping
holes in the police story still not plugged - giving credence
to the popular take for the common man that the whole thing has
been stage-managed. Even the arrests. There are rumours doing
the rounds about parleys between the kidnapped child's family,
the police and the criminals, through political mediations. Even
that a politician in power accompanied the ransom carrier to deliver
it to the kidnappers. Which brings to the fore: how deep is the
criminal-politician nexus here? Is the police administration in
UP being held to ransom by political bosses to toe their line
in the deadly game of criminal protection and sharing of spoils?
is also the other aspect: If it really were a good job of sleuthing
done by the police - an absolutely commendable work as forcefully
projected by Naresh Gupta, then why the conflicting versions from
the police - both regarding the rescue, and the payment/recovery
of ransom? Is the reason for confusion midst the police ranks
and administrators because of the political monitoring? Is the
political leadership in the state going to clarify these nagging
and ominous shrapnel and projectiles?
Copyright © Maxwell Pereira; 3725 Sector 23, Gurgaon-122002;
Tel: 0124-5111026; Available at firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.com& http:/www.
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