GUWAHATI, April 28 - A trader from Hatigaon who was kidnapped by a gang of criminals for ransom was last night rescued from near Nongpoh in Meghalaya. Police said Ashraf Khan was reportedly honey-trapped and taken hostage from Sijubari area on the evening of April 21 last.
Family sources said the kidnappers called up the next day, demanding Rs 5 crore for his release. The family negotiated and brought down the ransom to Rs 1.5 crore, police said. However, police were tracking the mobile phones and following leads, launched simultaneous search operations at Nagarbera, Sijubari and Nongpoh last night. He was allegedly kept tied to iron chains.
Nine criminals, including two women were arrested by the police during the operation. The accused have been identified as Abdul Mannan (26) of Baihata Chariali, Lutfur Rahman (40) of Baihata Chariali, Kalam Ali (28) of Barpeta, Md Ali Jinna (28) of Barpeta, Sual Kamrul Hussain (23) of Barpeta, Mujamil Haque (24) of Barpeta, Asmot Ali (47) of Boko, Runuma Begum (31) of Changsari and Razima Khatun (21) of Dhubri. The two women accused were known to the victim and had been staying near his residence at Hatigaon.
A 7.65 pistol, five live rounds, nine mobile sets, sharp weapons and incriminating documents were seized from the accused.