Factory owner kidnapped in filmy style from Palghar
Four men in a car overtook the rickshaw Arif Shaikh was in, dragged him into their Scorpio and sped off
The director and owner of Alpha Metals, a company that manufactures parts of heavy mixers, was kidnapped by four people in Palghar on Thursday afternoon. Sources said 39-year-old Arif Shaikh was on the way to his factory in Palghar. The police are trying to find a business rival whom Shaikh's family suspects is involved.
Kidnapped outside his factory
"Shaikh visits his factory every day and travels either by local train or his car. He lives in Mira Road with his wife, children and mother. His father is a homoeopath in Hyderabad. On Thursday around 1.30 pm he alighted from a local train at Palghar and hired an autorickshaw to reach his factory," Mohammad Issak Manjra, Shaikh's brother-in-law, told mid-day.
The police have seized the Scorpio in which Shaikh was allegedly kidnapped
"A few metres before Shaikh's factory, a pick-up van overtook his autorickshaw and forced the driver to stop. Soon a white Scorpio stopped near the three-wheeler, four men got out of it, and dragged Shaikh into their vehicle and sped away," added Manjra. The autorickshaw driver mustered the courage to inform the staff at Shaikh's factory. "The driver said a person whom he often drops at the factory gate, was kidnapped by four men. The workers showed Shaikh's photograph to the driver who identified him. Later they approached Palghar police," Manjra said. Police said the family received three calls from unknown numbers after the abduction and the callers told them not to register a case as Shaikh will be released soon.
Business rival is suspect
The Palghar police have registered a case under sections 365 (kidnapping) and 34 (common intention) of IPC against Prashant Sankhe and his accomplices, but no arrest has been made. Sankhe is a former colleague of Shaikh, and his family told police they suspect he could be behind the kidnapping as he runs a similar business. The police then traced the Scorpio used in the crime.
"Prima facie the investigation suggests it to be a case of business rivalry. The kidnappers parked the Scorpio at a relatives' house in Palghar, and took another car, an i-20. We are scanning CCTV footage and have alerted the toll nakas. The i-20 crossed the Charoti toll naka around 7pm," said Yogesh Chavan, Additional Superintendent of Police, Palghar division.
Another source told mid-day that a few years ago, Shaikh, Sankhe and a woman used to work together in a company. "The woman was sacked from the company for not adhering to its norms and conditions. Sankhe, who was her friend, was told that she was sacked because Shaikh had complained against her," he said. "Sankhe had switched on his cellphone at 11pm on Thursday and his location was shown in Dahanu. One team was sent there but by the time it reached, he had moved," said a police officer.
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