Bengaluru, Aug. 30: It was all done in filmy -- shall we say Sandalwood -- style. A gang of five, led by a 'producer' and an 'actor', abducts a prominent industrialist's son and demands ransom to fund a movie that they are desperate to make. But while they start the drama, police write the screenplay and climax. As in the movies, good wins over evil.
Yelahanka police on Monday arrested five men, including a small-time Kannada actor Muniyappa, alias Eshwar, 29, and 'producer' Hasan Dhongri, 26, for kidnapping Kirloskar Electric Company Ltd., Managing Director Vinayak 's son Ishan Bapat for ransom.
The gang kidnapped the 19-year-old Engineering student from a restaurant, where he was dining with his girlfriend, on August 23. The motive was to collect ransom money from his industrialist father to fund a movie which would be 'produced by' Hasan Dhongri and star Muniyappa as the 'hero'.
The gang proved to be amatuers, however. The police quickly got on their trail and by that night had narrowed down the search for Bapat to a narrow area. Feeling the heat, the kidnappers released Bapat the next morning and he reached home.
"The gang kidnapped Bapat on August 23 from an eatery when he was with his girlfriend, but when we intensified the search and tracked their movements, they released Bapat near Jalahalli and fled," said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Megharik.
The police chief clarified that no ransom was paid for the boy's release.
But the kidnappers did not stop at that. They started to demand Rs. 50 lakh from Bapat's girlfriend, threatening to otherwise reveal her relationship with him to their parents.
"The gang thought they could blackmail the girl and demanded Rs. 50 lakh for keeping quiet about her relationship with Bapat", DCP (North-East) P.S. Harsha told OneIndia.
The Yelahanka police quickly got into action again. They told the girl to agree to the gang's demand and arrange the rendevous.
But who would ferry her to the location?
Sub-Inspector Naveen dressed up as an auto-driver, and his constables as cab drivers. While Naveen drove the girl close to the rendevous location but out of sight of the gang, the constables surrounded the location while hiding at a distance.
It was then that the girl started the drama. She picked a regular commuter-auto driver quarrel with Naveen. As they argued loudly over the fare, the girl called up Hasan Dhongri to help resolve the matter and take his money.
As soon as Dhongri came closer, Naveen pounced on him and nabbed him. Based on his information, the 'cab-drivers' rounded up the rest of the gang.
The other three arrested are Jagadish, 32, Jagannatha, 19, and Manoj, 19. Preliminary investigation had revealed that Muniyappa had acted in a Kannada movie (Challenger) and met Dhongri during the film shooting. As the latter wanted to produce a movie but did not have money, he had plotted the kidnap.
The five were produced before a local court and remanded to police custody for further interrogation.