This one could be plot comic-thrillers are made of. Deep in financial crisis and unable to pay his staff their salaries, a restaurant owner from Kalol kidnapped his 56-year-old neighbour, hoping to clear his dues with the ransom money. However, the plan failed when the abductee’s husband approached the local police.
On Saturday, the Gandhinagar local crime branch (LCB) arrested Mitul Patel, 35. Seven others accused in the case are on the run.
Police said Patel planned and executed the abduction on March 30, along with four of his employees and three other acquaintances.
On Wednesday afternoon, Alka Rastogi, 56, who works as a teacher at a school near Tapovan Circle, was alone at her residence in Saraswati Society when a 25-year-old man, later identified as Saurabh Kumar, knocked on her door. She let him in when he told her that he wanted to check the solar panels. But, seven others, all between 20 and 25 years, barged in after him and overpowered her.
They tied her hands and legs and covered her mouth with duct tape before forcing her into a vehicle. They drove around Kalol while trying to contact her husband, Pradeep Rastogi, who runs a thread-manufacturing factory in Chhatral. However, he was unreachable.
When Pradeep reached home and did not find his wife, he approached Kalol city police and filed a missing person report. However, Patel got nervous when he learned that the police had gone to Rastogi’s house for investigation. So, on March 31, at around 4:30 am, the prime accused dropped Alka off at a remote place.
With help from a shopkeeper, she contacted her husband. They later approached the police and filed a kidnapping complaint against unknown persons. During the investigation, the cops identified that the vehicle used for the kidnapping belonged to Patel, who runs Tirupati restaurant on the Ambika-Kalol highway.
During the interrogation, Patel confessed to his crime. He told the cops that he had executed the abduction with his waiters Ballu, Nilesh, Devendra, and Saurabh.
Also among the accused, Thakur, had met Patel on March 23 and demanded a pay hike. But Patel told them that he was reeling under a severe financial crunch and sought a way out. The abduction was Nilesh’s idea. And since Patel was aware that Alka stayed alone at home after her husband left for work, she was an easy target.