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Police scanning wedding DVD for clues into Surat merchant’s kidnapping

Wedding took place in the same house where victim was held captive

Gulf News

Patna: Police in Bihar are combing through CDs, DVDs and photographs of a criminal’s wedding for clues to help them nab the main conspirators in the high-profile kidnapping case of a Surat-based businessman.

This is a day after chief minister Nitish Kumar issued orders to resolve the case, following widespread media coverage.

The incident has severely dented the image of the state government ahead of next year’s general elections.

The wedding ceremony had been solemnised at Chaurpur village in northern Bihar’s Saran district on November 25 which, police say, was attended by several politicians.

“We are examining the footage of the video. The locals were also shown the videos but they could not recognise any of those in the CD. This shows they were mostly outsiders,” Bihar’s additional director general of police Ravinder Kumar told media on Friday, adding the case had been handed over to the Crime Investigation Department for a thorough probe.

The groom was none other than Ranjit Singh, one of the accused arrested by the police in the kidnapping of Sohail Hingora, son of prominent Surat-based businessman Hanif Hingora, while one of the “guests” at the function was none other than the victim itself.

Investigating agencies say the much talked-about wedding was solemnised in the same house where the victim had been held hostage for the past 25 days but the shrewd kidnappers took extra care to ensure no one could know about the identity of the “guest”.

As per the report, the kidnappers had introduced the victim ­- handcuffed and covered in a shawl — as a family friend suffering from “mental and physical ailments”.

Meanwhile, the police have registered a case against five persons, all members of a family, in connection with the case and are conducting raids to arrest the rest of the four accused. One of the accused is an assistant sub-inspector posted in Jharkhand.

The main challenge before the police is to identify the politician who is alleged to be a minister in the ruling Janata Dal (United) government headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar. “I am surprised the matter did not reach the chief minister, and if he is really not aware about this, he does not hold the moral right to continue in office,” Hanif Hingora told a local TV news channel.

Meanwhile, Hingora has also shot off a letter to the Bihar chief minister narrating in detail the story of his son’s kidnapping and the way he was forced to cough up the ransom amount to secure release of son as he was left with no other alternative.

“What my son heard during his captivity, it appears that his kidnapping was the outcome of a criminals-politicians-police nexus with the sole purpose to realise hefty ransom,” Hingora said in his letter, adding the gang involved in the crime was highly “professional and shrewd”.

He urged the chief minister to seriously look into the case to bring the culprits to book as also to convey a good message in the society.