Three sentenced to life over 2008 kidnapping, extortion case
Kolkata: The city sessions court on Friday sentenced three youth in their 30s to life imprisonment for kidnapping and extorting Rs 40 lakh from a Howrah-based coal trader in 2008.
Khalid Khan from Mumbai, Shadab Siddiqui from Mumbai and Kamran Akhtar from Metiabruz in Kolkata were convicted on charges of extortion of money from a businessman Sreeram Buchasia who was abducted from City Centre, Salt Lake in March 2008 and was kept a hostage at a hideout in Jagacha, Howrah.
Sources in the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said the kidnappers had sought ransom money of Rs 1.5 crore that was negotiated and brought down to Rs 40 lakh.
CID sleuths during the course of investigation learnt that an inter-state gang of Mumbai was found involved in this case and the kidnappers, including kingpin Siddiqui, was arrested from Kolkata airport while he was fleeing to Jaipur.
Chief judge of the City Sessions Court who convicted the three gang members on Thursday acquitted another accused Abhishek Singh, who had allegedly provided logistic support to the trio.
According to CID sources, Siddique had become a drinking partner of Buchasia, then 45, a resident of Shibpur in Howrah. On March 8, Siddique asked Buchasia to meet him in front of City Centre in Salt Lake. He had left home around 6.30 pm on a motorcycle and was not seen again by his family till March 19. He was abducted and the kidnappers forced him to call home and say he was on his way to Ranigunj.
Buchasia's wife received a phone call on March 9, the first ransom call demanding Rs 1.5 crore. Buchasia's brother Sarod alerted the police and the case was taken up by the CID.
The victim's family members delivered the money after a 40-minute ride on a suburban train from Howrah but the kidnappers demanded more money.
Buchasia was finally dropped off on Bally Bridge early on March 18.
The CID sleuths managed to recover Rs 23 lakh ransom amount from the abductors.