SUKKUR: Instead of giving in to the demands of Muhammad Hussain Pathan's kidnappers, the police arrested more of their family members and managed to safely recover the abductee on Thursday night.
Pathan, a resident of Sukkur and the manager of a pharmaceutical company, was kidnapped from Sukkur Bypass on January 6. He was travelling in his car when four unidentified men intercepted him at Sukkur Bypass, whisked him out of his car and took him away in another car. Later, the kidnappers used his mobile phone to contact his wife. They told her to inform the Sukkur police that Pathan will be released only when the police release their accomplices. The police adopted an aggressive strategy and arrested more members of the kidnappers' households to put pressure on them. Ultimately, the kidnappers succumbed and released Pathan on Thursday night.
Sharing his ordeal with The Express Tribune at his house, Pathan said that on the morning of January 6, he left for his office in his car at about 9am. "Due to heavy fog, I was driving very carefully and slowly as I had met an accident owing to fog a month ago," he said. "When I reached at Sukkur Bypass, a white Toyota car started running parallel to my car and after covering some distance it gained speed and blocked my way. Four men wearing commando jackets and caps and armed with Kalashnikovs came out of the car and surrounded my vehicle."
He went on to narrate how one of the unidentified men broke his car window with the butt of the rifle and asked him to come out. "I asked them if they want my car or cash or mobile phone," he said. "But they said, 'We want you'."
Pathan told The Express Tribune that the men dragged him, pushed him in their car, covered him with a cloth and drove away. "After driving for about two hours, the car stopped and they pulled me out," he said. "They handed me over to other men, who took me to an undisclosed location on a motorcycle. After a ride of one and a half hour, the motorcyclists handed me over to other motorcyclists and once again a journey started. It ended after an hour and I was put in a room constructed in a deserted place."
According to Pathan, the unidentified men chained his feet and told him to stay calm or else they will harm him. "Seeing no way out, I tried to remain calm. During the six days of captivity in that room, the kidnappers used to give me boiled potatoes with a rice cake twice a day and at other times potatoes cooked in curry and dough.
"On the sixth day, a man came running and informed the captors that the police are coming. They unchained me and asked me to run with them. After running for 40 minutes, they stopped in a forest and chained me with a tree. I was kept here until my release on the night of January 22, when they unchained me and asked me to walk straight and not to look back. I started walking and after around two and a half hours, reached a road where a police mobile van was waiting for me. They first took me to the SSP office and then to my residence."
Pathan looked very happy and was very thankful to the police, especially to Sukkur SSP Tanveer Hussain Tunio who put tremendous pressure upon the kidnappers. "We have not paid a single penny to the kidnappers," he said. "The police have done a great job."
When contacted, Tunio told The Express Tribune that he had resolved on the first day that he would not accept the demands of the kidnappers. "We applied tremendous pressure on them and told them to release the kidnapped person or face drastic consequences," he said. "No matter how powerful the criminals may be, they cannot challenge the writ of the state."
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2015.
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