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Posing as Kanwariya, Ola Driver Slips Cops After Kidnapping Doctor

The kidnapper and co-conspirators demanded Rs 5 crore not only from the victim’s family, but also from Ola CEO.

Updated
India
3 min read
According to police, the kidnappers demanded ransom of Rs 5 crore, not only from the victim’s family but also from Ola CEO.
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A 29-year-old doctor, Srikanth Goud, who was kidnapped from Delhi by an Ola driver, was rescued by police from Meerut on Wednesday.

Goud was kidnapped on 6 July when he booked an Ola cab to return home from Preet Vihar metro station. However, the Ola cab driver drove the car to Dadri near Noida and then other members of the gang abducted him.

On Wednesday, the kidnappers were caught after a brief encounter with police, The Times of India reported. Four kidnappers were arrested while five others, including the mastermind, are on the run.

According to police sources, the kidnappers demanded ransom of Rs 5 crore, not only from the victim's family, but also from Ola’s CEO.

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The driver reportedly used forged documents to partner with Ola and some of the other accused were also associated with Ola, police told The Indian Express.

“The accused had been moving and changing locations. Police tried to arrest them on Tuesday, but they pretended to be kanwariyas and managed to escape. On Wednesday evening, police received information that the doctor was being held captive at Shatabdi Nagar, Meerut. Police teams surrounded the house where he was kept. Following an exchange of fire, the doctor was rescued and the four accused were arrested,” police told The Indian Express.

Goud had gone out for dinner with friends on 6 July and was then dropped off at Preet Vihar Metro station in East Delhi. He booked a cab a few minutes later to go home in Gautam Nagar and fell prey to the kidnappers on the way. When he didn't show up to work the next day, one of his friends lodged a complaint with police.

"Meanwhile, the kidnappers made a call from Srikanth’s mobile phone to an Ola customer care number and asked for the CEO. They said they had kidnapped a man and wanted Rs 5 crore each from his family and the CEO of Ola for his release,” police told The Indian Express.

Srikanth Goud is the son of Janardhan Goud and Bharathamma, and belongs to Gadwal district in Telangana. He had completed MBBS in China and was pursuing post-graduation in New Delhi.

During the investigation it was revealed that this cab was registered with Ola just three days before the kidnapping, and Dr Goud was its first passenger.

Prima facie investigation reveals that it was a planned kidnapping. They succeeded in forging documents because they had earlier been associated with Ola cab services and knew the ropes. They had in an in-depth knowledge of how the vehicle registration system operated with Ola. The kidnappers also knew that Ola had the capacity to pay and would agree to pay ransom.

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In response to the incident, Ola has come out with quite a bland and generic response. It didn’t speak about the measures that Ola will adopt in future to ensure passenger safety or the lapses that occurred in hiring these drivers. Rather, the statement simply said:

We are extremely relieved on the safe return of Dr Sreekanth Goud from the hands of the kidnapper. The last few days have been extremely stressful for Dr Sreekanth and his family. We extend our good wishes and prayers to the family in this time of joyful reunion. We are grateful for the enormous effort and degree of diligence from the police who have helped in Dr Sreekanth’s safe return. We continue to cooperate with the police in their investigations, to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice. We will also continue to support and assist the family to help them fully recover from the aftershocks of this harrowing crime.

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