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Sunday, 20 July 2008

7 held

Staff Correspondent

Police have so far arrested seven people suspected of abducting of a student of Titumir College, after luring him into a love affair by mobile phone and realising a hefty ransom after holding him hostage.

Assistant deputy commissioner of Bangladesh Police Detective Branch, Masudur Rahman told reporters in a press conference, at Dhaka DB headquarters Friday, that police recovered around Tk 70,000 of the ransom money and two mobile phone sets from those arrested.
 
College student Mamun Miah received a missed call from an unknown number which led to a love affair with a girl calling herself "Bristi", Masudur said.
 
The girl at one point invited Mamun to accompany her to "a friend's wedding". On July 3, he was abducted on his way to the supposed wedding and taken to a trawler moored at Aricha Ghat, where he was held for ransom.
 
After handing over Tk 7 lakh and four cellphones as ransom, a plainclothes policeman and family members rescued Mamun from a char in the Padma river, at Ataikula, on July 9, the DB official said.
 
Police arrested four of the abductors four days later from Sujanagar. Following information given by them, police arrested three more abductors from Manikganj, Sherpur and Ashulia, said Masudur.
 
Police also arrested "Bristi", who is known by various other names including Asha, Meghla and Falguni, he added.
 
Mamun Miah is a BA student of Titumir College and the son of Salahuddin Babul, a retired employee of Bangladesh Biman. Mamun is the eldest of two brothers and three sisters.
 
Mamun's father filed a case with Dakhhin Khan police on his son's abduction on July 3.
 
Police sub-inspector Ataur Rahman followed the abduction saga from start to the finish.
 
He told reporters that on July 7 the abductors asked Mamun's people to go to Goalundo ghat with the ransom money. A team of plainclothes policemen accompanied Mamun's father Babul and uncle Bakul to the ghat, said Ataur.
 
Sensing the presence of police there, the abductors changed their mind. They rang Babul and threatened not to return his son as he had involved the police, the SI said.
 
But on July 8, they again asked Mamun's father to go to Court Station in Kusthia to hand over the ransom. There, too, sensing police presence, they disappeared.
 
They rang up Mamun's father again to tell him that a decision had been taken by their "high command to 'minus' Mamun", said Ataur.
 
Babul appealed to them and eventually an agreement was reached to conduct the transaction at Ataikhola in Pabna on July 9. Mamun's father, uncle Bakul and sub-inspector Ataur—posing as Mamun's maternal uncle—went to the Padma river char.
 
There, after discussions with the abductors, the Tk 7 lakh and four mobile sets were handed over in exchange for Mamun's release.
 
RAB and police later traced the whereabouts of the abductors by tracking the calls they made by mobile phone.

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