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Mastermind behind Kota kidnapping still at large as police teams squabble over credit for rescue
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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June 30, 2005 14:56 IST

Vaibhav Aggarwal, the teenager who was rescued from the clutches of his kidnappers, is back with his parents in Mumbai, but the police officials of the six states who conducted the joint operation to catch the culprits are still struggling to nab the brain behind the kidnapping, Rahul Tyagi.

Tyagi and his accomplice Sanjeev Sharma are still on the run.

The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 10 crore from the boy's father Ramdev Aggarwal who is a leading stock broker in Mumbai.

The family had agreed to pay Rs 3 crore for the safe release of the boy.

Three days after conducting the operation, a sort of war is now going on between the Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan police officials as to who should take credit for solving the case.

"Vaibhav was kidnapped from his hostel in Kota where he was preparing for his Indian Institute of Technology entrance exam. He was lured by the kidnappers who told the unsuspecting boy that they had been sent by his uncle who is a doctor in Pondicherry and requested the boy to come with them to Bansal Institute for coaching," said a senior UP police officer.

"He was given a drink laced with sedatives and kidnapped. From Kota he was driven to Delhi from where he was taken to Dehra Dun, then moved to Kahtuli and finally brought to Ghaziabad from where he was rescued following a joint operation carried out by the UP, Delhi and Rajasthan police," the officer continued. 

"The UP police did nothing in the case and is taking credit for the action. As we had to conduct raids in UP, they had to be taken into confidence," said a top Delhi police official.

The officer claimed that even the Rajasthan police had no clue as to what was happening in the case. The Delhi police agreed to help after receiving an SOS from A S Gill, director general of Rajasthan police.

Gill, however, disagrees. "The credit must go jointly to all the police forces that took part in the operations. I had personally spoken to the police chiefs of Delhi, Haryana, UP and Uttranchal and sought their assistance. I must say to their credit that they all agreed to help us in tracing the boy," Gill said on telephone from his residence in Jaipur.

"The biggest challenge before us was how to keep the media away," Gill continued.

This was the first case of its nature for the Rajasthan police where it registered a first information report suo motto, and constituted teams to search for the boy.

"The moment we learnt about the kidnapping of the boy on June 10, we registered an FIR and began our investigations. The parents were not forthcoming with any information. They were not willing to even give their mobile numbers," Gill said.

"We could understand their anxiety. We traced their mobile numbers, kept track of their movements and also recorded the conversations of the kidnappers," Gill said.

"Some of the newspersons who got wind of what we were doing agreed not to put out stories because that would have helped the kidnappers," Gill continued.

"Ajit Singh Shekhawat, inspector general (crime) of Rajasthan, was flown to Delhi to coordinate with the Delhi police and track down the movements of the kidnappers," Gill said.

"For 15 days we were on the job and managed to rescue the boy after we arrested Jai Kumar alias Bittu, 22-year-old driver of the kidnappers, who was walking away after collecting the ransom of Rs 3 crore," Gill said.

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