Girl kidnaps infant cousin to pay debt

Ahmedabad: A girl was today arrested along with three others for allegedly kidnapping her six-year- old cousin to pay up the debt of her boyfriend, police said. Payal Bhalchandani (20), whose family runs a well- known hotel in Maninagar here, allegedly kidnapped her cousin Aditya with help of her boyfriend Nishant Shetty (21), and his friends Dhwanik Shah (24) and Devendra Shukla (21), on Tuesday and demanded Rs 1 crore as ransom for his release, they said.

"Initially we received a complaint that Payal and Aditya had gone missing after they went to the market to buy medicine. When the ransom call was received, we began negotiations with kidnappers who were demanding Rs 1 crore," DCP (Crime) Himanshu Shukla told mediapersons here. "During negotiations, the kidnappers reduced the ransom amount to Rs 50 lakh but insisted on immediate delivery of money near a club," he said.

Shukla said they kept a close watch on the spot and when two of the kidnappers, Shah and Shukla, came to collect the money, they were nabbed and quizzed about Payal and Aditya. Their interrogation revealed Payal was also involved in the kidnapping, and she was apprehended from near the club. The trio said Aditya was kept in a call centre office, where Shah worked, in Ellisbridge area, from where he was rescued. Payal`s boyfriend Shetty, who was with the boy, was arrested, the DCP said.

Questioning revealed Payal, along with her boyfriend, masterminded the abduction of her own cousin to pay up over Rs 10-lakh debt which Shetty incurred due to his betting habit. Further interrogation of Payal disclosed that she had stolen gold jewellery worth Rs 65,000 from her house about one and half years ago as Shetty was in need of money, he said.