Thursday, May 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kidnapped Bihar doc freed
Police suspects Samata MLA’s hand

Dr Ramesh Chandra's wife offers a sweet
Dr Ramesh Chandra's wife offers a sweet to him at their residence in Patna on Wednesday after he was freed by the police from the clutches of kidnappers. — PTI photo

Patna, May 21
In a pre-dawn operation, the police today freed eminent neuro-surgeon Ramesh Chandra from the clutches of his captors allegedly patronised by Samata Party MLA Sunil Pandey following which the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called off its statewide indefinite strike and the NDA its Patna bandh.

Dr Chandra was rescued by the police from Chiraura village under the Naubatpur police station early this morning barely hours before the doctors were to go on an indefinite strike paralysing all medicare, including private practice and emergency services across Bihar.

It is a major success for the police as they rescued the doctor without a single bullet being fired, Director General of Police D.P. Ojha told reporters at a crowded press conference and said Dr Chandra was abducted by a gang patronised by Samata Party MLA from Piro Sunil Pandey.

The MLA, however, strongly denied his involvement in the crime and demanded a CBI probe to unravel the truth.

The kidnappers, who had earlier demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore, had settled for Rs 50 lakh for Dr Chandra’s release, but he was rescued without paying any money, the DGP said.

Later, Patna SSP Sunil Kumar told reporters that eight kidnappers were arrested with three country-made pistols and 11 rounds of ammunition.

The kidnapping of Dr Chandra has triggered political sparring between the ruling RJD and the NDA with a minister in the Rabri Devi government accusing Union Minister and BJP leader C.P. Thakur and Samata MLA Sunil Pandey of having links with the abductors, a charge strongly denied by both of them.

The facts available with the police suggest close links of Mr Thakur and Mr Pandey with the criminal gang involved in the kidnapping, Minister of State for Health Akhilesh Prasad Singh told reporters asserting that his allegation was based on the information provided to him by the police.

The DGP, however, said though the police was in possession of a printout showing that the kidnappers had called up Mr Thakur at his residence on May 19.

Mr Thakur dismissed the charge as ‘baseless and designed to tarnish his image’ and said he would file a defamation suit against the RJD minister. PTI


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