Trader’s grandson rescued, kidnappers held after encounter

Lucknow: A six-year-old grandson of a trader was rescued and five people who allegedly abducted him were arrested after an encounter in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district on Saturday, officials said.

Some persons, allegedly carrying identity cards of the Health Department, had come to a locality in Colonelganj on Friday afternoon on the pretext of distributing masks, according to police.

The grandson of gutkha trader Rajesh Kumar Gupta was standing at a distance when the suspects approached him to give hand sanitiser and pulled him inside the vehicle. Later, the family got a call from a woman for a ransom Rs 4 crore, a police official said.

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In a joint operation, the special task force (STF) and the police rescued the child and arrested five kidnappers following an encounter, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said.

The car used for kidnapping and three weapons have also been recovered, Awasthi said, adding that two of the abductors had also suffered injuries during the encounter.

Those arrested have been identified as Suraj Pandey, Chhavi Pandey, Raj Pandey, Umesh Yadav and Deepu Kashyap, he said.

A reward of Rs 2 lakh has been declared for the joint team of the STF and police, which successfully carried out the operation, the official added.

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