Mumbai: Abducted flower seller rescued after month-long chase

The crime was plotted by a labour contractor as the victim had refused to work on fields after signing a contract

Vishal SinghUpdated: Wednesday, January 04, 2023, 12:20 AM IST
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Mumbai: After a month-long chase running through two states, the cops from the N M Joshi Marg police finally succeeded in rescuing a flower seller who was abducted on the pretext of a big order. Four suspects, including a woman, have been identified while their fifth accomplice is yet to be profiled. One Santosh Kale has been arrested from Sangli district while four others Bapu Chavan, Vilas Chavan, Mayura Chavan and an unknown person are still on the run. The victim, Ramesh Kale, already knew some of the suspects.

The incident took place on Dec 1 but the victim's wife sought police help a week later as she thought that the matter would be resolved. But when Ramesh didn't return till Dec 8, she lodged a police complaint stating that three people had come to her husband and promised to give a big order. On this pretext, they took him in a taxi and since then he hasn't returned home. In the meanwhile, a demand for Rs7 lakh ransom has been made several times, said the complainant.

During investigation, the police tracked down the location of suspects and found that they had kept Ramesh in Sangli. Also, they were constantly moving from one place to another. By the time the cops reached Sangli, the suspects took Ramesh to Gulbarga, Karnataka. They reached the southern state and carried out a search operation with the help of local cops. But they came to know that the abductors had again gone back to Sangli. This time, the cops managed to pin down one of the suspects, Santosh, who revealed the location where Ramesh was confined. He was finally rescued after a month.

The cops discovered that the crime was plotted by Bapu Chavan who is a labour contractor in Sangli. He already has two similar cases against him; in one of the cases, the victim was killed. The reason behind abduction of Ramesh was that he and 20 others had signed a contract with Bapu to work as sugarcane cutters. It has also come to fore that Bapu hired labourers on a contract of Rs35,000 but gave them just Rs15,000. Apparently, because of this reason, Ramesh and others backed away later hence causing losses to the main suspect.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan said that two teams worked to crack the case and added that a search for absconders is on. All of them have been booked for abduction.

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