Uttar Pradesh police have arrested the key member of a gang involved in the kidnapping of the High Court lawyer Priti Shukla. While the investigation into the purported case is still ongoing, the police have revealed that all the criminals involved in the abduction of the lawyer are associated with Bhim Army, reports Amar Ujala.
The reports further add that the main arrested accused, Santosh Chaubey alias Surya has himself confessed to his association with the Bhim Army, and informed that active member of the organisation Bablu Ambedkar was the key conspirator in the kidnapping. According to the reports, the Police and STF sources have revealed that it was in the Bhim Army office itself that the entire kidnapping plot was conceived.
Shukla was reportedly abducted by car-borne miscreants when she was on an evening walk near her house in the Sushant Golf City area of the state capital on June 6 (Sunday).
The Bhim Army members had demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore
The special task force (STF) assigned to investigate the case, arrested Santosh Chaubey alias Surya from Harkanshi Gadhi locality in the PGI area on Tuesday at 11 pm. STF also rescued the woman lawyer from the clutches of kidnappers after she had spent 52 hours in captivity.
According to STF deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Deepak Kumar Singh, the kidnappers had demanded Rs 1 crore from Priti Shukla’s husband, who is also a lawyer in the UP High Court. The abductors later settled for Rs 25 lakh after multiple negotiation calls, said the STF DSP, adding that the investigation so far suggested that 10 people were involved in the kidnapping plan and nine of them were still at large. However, the lawyer was rescued by the police before
Meanwhile, speaking about the case, a senior police official said Priti Shukla and her husband Anurag Shukla had purchased two flats in the posh Sushant Golf City locality and bought two high-end sedan cars in the recent past. He further said that the arrested accused Santosh Chaubey, revealed that the couple’s lavish lifestyle drew them in, and his gang decided to kidnap the woman in the hopes that her husband would pay a large ransom in exchange for her safe release.
Anurag Shukla, according to reports, is a very famous and well established high court lawyer in Uttar Pradesh. He is known for two high-profile cases related to former Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is in jail for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore mining case, and another multi-crore case allegedly involving a real estate firm.
According to the DSP, Anurag Shukla reported his wife’s kidnapping to the Sushant Golf City police station on June 6, Sunday after receiving the ransom call, but the issue was not publicised so that the kidnappers do not get alerted about the police team’s action plan. He said that the accused had monitored the lawyer’s activities for some days before kidnapping his wife.
After kidnapping Priti Shukla, the accused had been changing their position frequently and were using the victim’s mobile phone to call her family for demanding the ransom.
During interrogation, Santosh Chaubey revealed names of his accomplices namely, Jitendra, Kallu, Rohit, Bablu and others, the STF said, adding efforts were on to nab them.