‘Darr’, love & moolah behind Snapdeal staff abduction

The abduction of Snapdeal executive Dipti Sarna was masterminded by an infatuated man who wanted to woo her by playing the role of a saviour, said the police on Monday.

With the arrest of five men, including the alleged mastermind Devendra (30), the police unravelled the mystery behind the disappearance of the girl on February 10. Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Singh said Devendra, a history-sheeter from Haryana with 30 cases against him, was inspired by the jilted lover played by Shah Rukh Khan in the 1993 Bollywood blockbuster Darr .

Dipti Sarna went missing when she was on her way home from the Vaishali metro station on Wednesday evening. File Photo

To carry out the plan that he had drafted to pull off the abduction — he would pretend to be an accomplice and yet a sympathiser — he roped in four others, all of whom have been arrested. He even started driving an auto-rickshaw to execute the plan and had been tracking Dipti’s movements for the past several months.

It was on February 10 that Devendra and his accomplices — Pradeep, Faeem and Majid — decided to strike.

Illustration: Santan (The Hindu)
Being well versed with the tentative timings around which Dipti reached the Vaishali Metro Station everyday, the accused parked their auto-rickshaw, waiting for her. Dipti, however, boarded another vehicle, which they punctured by throwing sharp objects on the road. But, the situation took an unexpected turn when a car driven by their fifth accomplice (Mohit) had a flat tyre.

Unaware of the conspiracy, Dipti and another woman-passenger boarded Devendra’s vehicle. But, the other woman was forced to get off 30 metres down the road.

“On a phone call with her father at that point of time, Dipti grew suspicious at the development and screamed, which he heard. One of the accused then held a pistol against her and abducted her,” said Mr. Singh.

The auto-rickshaw then took an unpaved road before a glitch stopped the vehicle for some time. To avoid drawing the attention of passers-by, they took the girl to a room in an under construction site where they hid her phone and the bag she was carrying in two separate locations close by.

The accused then fixed the problem and drove the vehicle to an undulating ground and drove towards Farukhnagar, added Mr. Singh, but by then the vehicle had run out of gas.

“Devendra called his brother Jitender to arrange another vehicle without telling him the purpose. They went to Khera Hatana village in Baghpat in that vehicle. His own village, Kami, is 10 kilometres away from there and one has to cross Yamuna to reach there,” said Mr. Singh.

But, before they could reach Kami, the car got stuck in the sand. Devendra then left Mohit behind and walked with the girl to Kami.

It was at Kami where he first took the girl to a friend’s room where he made the girl comfortable, fed her and also initiated a conversation to soothe her nerves. He even provided her a blanket. “He convinced the girl that his motive was different from his accomplices and that he actually intended to save her.

“He even instigated the girl against her boyfriend and told her that the abductors were sent by the brother of another girl Dipti’s boyfriend was in love with,” said Mr. Singh.

After winning the girl’s confidence, he kept her at the room in a sugarcane field for nearly the whole day. Finally, he dropped her to the Sandal Kalan railway station where he left her with Rs.100 and the advice to catch a train to Delhi.

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