Teen Rescued After Shootout in Ghaziabad School

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Lucknow: A gun battle ensued in a school between police and a group of kidnappers in Ghaziabad after a teenager was taken hostage. The shootout went on for 20 minutes during which one of the three kidnappers was injured.

The 13-year-old boy was rescued while the three abductors were arrested from the day nursery located in a posh residential part of Ghaziabad’s Raj Nagar area a day after the child’s parents filed an FIR of kidnapping.

“After he went missing on Sunday, we got the first call from the kidnappers at around 10.30am on Monday,” said the boy’s father Vivek Mahajan, a stock trader.

“They called up from my son’s mobile and spoke in typical western UP dialect. They asked me to come up with Rs 2 crore or they would kill my son. I immediately rushed for police help.”

The accused, identified as Sandeep Kumar, Deepak and his younger brother Bittu, allegedly snatched the youngster from a playground outside his Raj Nagar residence and held him hostage in the servant quarters of the Royal Kids Play School.

“Deepak took me forcibly in a car and put me in a room,” the boy said. “There, he hit me on the head with a pistol. He also pointed a gun at his mother who wanted him to return me to my family. She consoled me and also gave me food. On Monday, they gave me an injection after which I fell unconscious.”

shootoutAuthorities said Deepak and Sandeep were friends and were living in the same high-rise as the Mahajans for the past couple of months.

“Deepak runs a BPO recruitment centre at Vaishali in Ghaziabad while Sandeep wanted to open a coaching centre,” superintendent of police Dr Ajay Pal said. “They planned the entire incident to make quick money and kept the boy hostage at the house of Deepak’s mother who works at the school.”

Police said they tracked the kidnappers through electronic surveillance as the accused had also taken away the boy’s cellphone.

During the encounter, the accused fired nearly 10-12 rounds while the police shot 3-4 rounds, officials said. Three .32-calibre pistols and four fully-loaded magazines were seized from the abductors.

“When we raided the school, the accused started firing hiding behind the walls and also through the room’s window,” Pal said. “One of them (Sandeep) began to run out and was hit by a police bullet (in the leg).”

Apart from arresting the three men, police are also questioning Deepak’s mother Anita and the playschool’s owner Dr Richa Sood. “The school was closed on Saturday and Sunday and I had no clue about the boy being held hostage here,” Sood said. “I came to know only when police told me on Monday afternoon.”

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