A 20-year-old engineering student from a renowned IT institute in Noida, allegedly hatched a conspiracy of her own abduction on Friday. The woman, Muskan Agarwal, allegedly planned the kidnapping along with three of her male friends, aged 20-24 years and forced her father to transfer Rs 10 lakh to her account as ‘ransom’. However, the plan went awry as the Uttar Pradesh special task force was roped in and the plot was busted.
On Friday afternoon, when Muskan’s father Shiv Agarwal called her up around 2.50pm from Kanpur, he heard the several people entering her room and his daughter shouting for help. She was in her college hostel at that time. The phone was disconnected at the time, but soon he received two SMSes from Muskan’s mobile phone. The sender had asked for Rs 10 lakh ‘ransom’ to be transferred to his daughter’s account immediately.
“Shiv Agarwal had come to know that his daughter had not gone to college that day and he called her up to ask about her health. He heard her crying for help on the phone and alerted the UP STF. Later, he received an SMS giving him half-an-hour to pay the ransom. Agarwal transferred Rs 10 lakh from his bank in Kanpur to his Muskan’s account,” said RK Mishra, deputy superintendent of police, UP-STF.
Meanwhile, the Noida police was also alerted. After the transfer, three transactions took place from woman’s account at ICICI Bank in Noida and the cops became suspicious after some amount was transferred to Muskan’s e-wallet account.
“When the STF teams reached the bank, three transactions had been made from the ATM and two suspects — P Anant and Rituraj Singh — had left. But, they were spotted in the CCTV footage. The woman, along with her boyfriend Aditya Srivastava, was traced to a park in Pari Chowk. Aditya Srivastava is Agarwal’s neighbour in Kanpur and had completed his engineering from Noida. Upon questioning, the identification of the other two men, who had withdrawn the money, was also revealed,” Mishra added.
Both Anant and Singh were nabbed while they were having pizza at Jagat Farm market. During questioning, Muskan revealed that she had lent Rs 4 lakh to another friend who studies in Noida and her father was pressuring her to get the money back. STF sources said that Muskan had also eloped briefly with her boyfriend a month ago and her father had been angry with her. With her studies also not going well, Aggarwal wanted his daughter to return to Kanpur. The woman and her friends allegedly planned the entire conspiracy to cough up money from her father and repay him from the ‘ransom’ amount.
Anant stays at Noida and works as a chef at a high rise. He is a hotel management graduate from an institute in Shimla. Singh, on the other hand, is a third year engineering student from a college in Knowledge Park while his father is a chief engineer in Faridabad.
The police said that nearly Rs 30,000 were withdrawn after the woman’s father transferred amount to her account and some small amounts were also transferred to her e-wallet. A total of nearly Rs 28,500 were also recovered as the police is in the process of filing a complaint case against the four persons under section 182 (false information) of IPC.