Noida police on Tuesday rescued a 42-year-old executive of a multinational company who had been kidnapped on Monday night. Police said Sanjeev Punn, vice-president of EXL Services Private Limited, was kidnapped while he was returning home from his office in Noida.
Punn’s driver Suraj and Suraj’s nephew Monu have been arrested in connection with the case. Monu’s friend and accomplice, Navraj, managed to escape, police said.
According to police, Punn left his office in Noida, Sector-58, on Monday around 10.45 pm for his home in South City II, Gurgaon.
When they reached Gurgaon toll plaza, Punn noticed Suraj sending a text message. “He thought that Suraj was messaging his wife. But soon after, Navraj, who had been hiding in the car’s boot, attacked Punn with a gun. Punn asked Suraj to stop the car, but he refused,” Pritender Singh, SSP Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
“He (Navraj) hit me on the head with the butt of the gun,” Punn said.
When they were near the Gurgaon golf course, Punn saw police on patrol and tried to attract their attention, but failed. This angered Navraj who again beat up the MNC executive, police said.
Police said Punn was then bound, gagged and dumped in the car’s boot. “I couldn’t see much. Later, I realised that I had been taken to Meerut,” Punn said. Police said the duo drove through Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad to reach Meerut.
When Punn didn’t return home, his wife Anuradha — who teaches at Amity International School, Gurgaon — tried calling Suraj. When her calls went unanswered, she called Kundan who had referred Suraj to the family, police said.
“Kundan told Anuradha that Punn had accidentally run someone over and that the family was demanding Rs 10 lakh as compensation,” Singh said. The accused also forced Punn to call up his relative Hema, a resident of Noida, and narrate a similar story.
However, police said, Punn’s family noticed something was amiss. They informed the Noida police who put Punn’s and his driver’s phones on surveillance. The two were traced to Meerut.
Police said a Crime Branch team, led by DSP Vishwajeet Sirvastava, was sent to Meerut. “At 8 am, Punn’s friend G K Gupta received a call from him. Gupta was asked to go to the Meerut-Haridwar highway with the money. The accused had asked for Rs 10 lakh, but settled for Rs 3.5 lakh,” Srivastava said.
Police instructed Gupta