GREAT INTELIGENT JOB OF CHENNAI POLICE
It now turns out that the police let abductors R Vijay (26) and K Prabhu (29) escape, in order to ascertain their true strength and resources, before zeroing in on them again for the final assault. The abductors were initially thought to have been armed, and their total strength remained unknown. But in the end, when rounded up, they turned out to be just the two of them who meekly surrendered.
It was the surprise factor that worked. Four hours after Vijay and Prabhu escaped with the black trolley bag with Rs 1 crore they had collected from Vasan's father Ramesh at Anna Nagar, the commissioner was addressing the press, saying they could not capture the men. "They had been in our radar, but we let them go," Rajendran said on Wednesday about the unusual operation. "I wasn't sure if we should let the duo escape with the cash, but my officers -- additional commissioner Shakeel Akhter and joint commissioner P Thamaraikannan -- suggested that we stick to our strategy and let them go so that we know more about the gang. The officers assured me that they would be caught. It was only a matter of time before we got them, so we were confident. At that moment, the child's safety was our biggest concern. In fact, when I was talking to you yesterday about the boy's return, my men were hunting down the abductors," the commissioner told reporters on Wednesday.
The police teams worked on two counts. First by tracking the movements of the abductors' mobile phones using GPS, and second by tracing the bike used for picking up the ransom. The duo had tied clothes on the number plates to hide the numbers, but as they sped off, one of the clothes gave way exposing the number which policemen noted down. With inputs from the regional transport office, they traced the bike to Vijay. When the cell phone signals matched with the vehicle number in Thirumangalam, it was time to close in.
After two days of action, the men were fast asleep in their houses -- Vijay in Thirumangalam and Prabhu in Anna Nagar - when police came knocking at their doors in the wee hours. "Our men had gone armed and had orders to open fire if the men put up a fight. However, they gave up without resistance," said additional commissioner Shakel Akhter.
3rd Nov 2010 T. Rajendran