Ghaziabad: A shocking tale of a man's infatuation for a girl he saw at a metro station, that's what is the story behind the high-profile Dipti Sarna kidnapping case.
Addressing a press conference, Monday, Ghaziabad SSP Dharmendra Yadav gave a blow-by-blow account of how the main accused Devender – with help of 4 others - plotted the plan to abduct Dipti.
The 'story' starts sometime around Jan-Feb 2015 when Devender accidentally saw Dipti Sarna at the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station in the heart of the national capital. Dipti was an M-Tech student at that time and used to frequently commute with friends on the metro.
As the Senior Superintendent of Police put it: Devender, like in the Shah Rukh movie 'Darr', developed an intense infatuation for the pretty girl. He felt he had no life without her.
A history-sheeter, Devender had frequent run-ins with law in the past and had even spent time in jail. But his past did not deter him from his mission to woo Dipti.
Soon, he started to stalk her. He tailed her for at least 150 times in the past one year. By then, Dipti had started to work at Snapdeal.
Devender did such a perfect job of stalking her that he knew everything about her itinerary. But he also found out, disturbingly for him, that she used to meet a person - the SSP referred to him as Mr A.
Mr A was Dipti's friend but Devender developed other ideas. Mr A became his No 1 enemy.
Soon , he decided it was time to work out his plan.
Kidnapping Dipti Sarna
Devender bought two autos and started to ply them on the route Dipti took on her way to Vaishali Metro Station. He wanted to abduct her.
Devender involved his friends Pradeep, Mohit, Fahim and Majid in the plan but without telling them what his real motive was.
Devender told them that he has identified a girl who is into Hawala trading and has crores of unaccounted cash. His friends agreed to join him in abducting her. He told them they can land a bounty of at least Rs 1.5 crore each if everything works to the plan. To sweeten the deal, Devender said that the girl will never report the case to the police as it involved Hawala money.
Setting the part B of the plan into motion, Devender used to wait near Vaishali Metro Station in the hope of getting Dipti to sit in his auto.
But his plan seldom worked because Dipti used to always prefer autos which had other female passengers.
On February 10, as Dipti reached Vaishali from her office in Gurgaon, Devender and his gang were lying in wait. While Pradeep was at the driver seat, Devender sat with him in the front row while Fahim was at the rear seat – leaving two seats vacant in the auto.
Dipti came to the auto stand and once again chose an auto which had another female occupant. The auto proceeded towards Old Bus Stand in Ghaziabad with Devender and gang following it. Their other accomplice Majid trailed them in a Swift car (backup escape vehicle if things went wrong).
At the Shaibabad traffic signal, the gang closed in on the auto and Devender inserted a board fitted with nails beneath the tyre of the auto Dipti was travelling in.
As expected, the auto's tyre burst and it stalled on the Mohan Nagar flyover, 300 metres from the signal.
Devender and gang approached the stranded auto and in a normal fashion offered to take the passengers to their destination.
Dipti and the other girl agreed and got into the back seat.
Dipti Sarna's dangerous journey
As soon as they crossed the Hindon Bridge, Pradeep deviated the auto towards the bypass that leads to Raj Nagar Extension. A few minutes into the journey, he stopped the auto and Devender and the others forced the other girl – she has not yet identified herself before the police - out of the auto and sped away with Dipti.
Back at Sahibabad, Majid, who was driving the Swift, had also missed seeing the nail-laden board and his car's tyre also got punctured. Not wanting to leave any evidence behind, Majid left the chase and focused on getting the car fixed.
Sensing that she was in trouble, Dipti tried to call her father but it was too late by then. The gang overpowered Dipti and put a gun on her temple.They warned her that she will be shot dead if she opened her mouth. She was later gagged using her own dupatta.
After a few kilometres, they left the road and proceeded on an unpaved road that passes by a school. The auto developed trouble after a few metres and stopped infront of an under-construction building.
Sensing that they may attract attention, Devdender took Dipti to the rear of the building. He then hid her bag beneath some construction material and smashed her phone – he knew it could be used to trace them.
His accomplices had rectified the problem in the auto by then.
Without wasting any further time, the gang proceeded on a relatively less used road that goes north by the side of the Hindon river. However, after they travelled some distance, they had to abandon the auto after it was left with no fuel.
Devender called up a friend and asked him to come to the spot with his i10 car. He later claimed to police that he did not tell his friend about the real reason why he wanted the car.
As soon as they got hold of the car, Devender and gang proceeded to Khedakhana village in Badaut in Bhagpat district.
Along the way Dipti was told that she will not be harmed as "someone is waiting to meet her".
Devender headed in the direction of Khedakhana as his native village, Kami in Sonipat district of Haryana, was only a few kilometres from it, across the Yamuna.
After the car got stuck in the sands of Yamuna, he left it with one of his other accomplices and proceeded with the core group towards his village.
On the other side of the river, Devender called up one of his brothers and asked him to bring a motorcycle to the where they were hiding. Devender then took Dipti to an empty house belonging to one of his friends.
Having the reached relative safety, Devender unrolled the third part of his plan.
He started to project himself as a hero and tried to impress upon her that he has only good intentions towards her but his accomplices may harm her. Devender went on to assure her that he won't let them harm her in anyway.
His ploy worked. The hapless girl started to seek his company and would not allow him to leave her alone with others – which gave his psychotic mind the impression that she was getting attracted to him.
Mr A in Dipti Sarna's life
Devender also started to convince Dipti that her friend Mr A was somehow involved in the plot to kidnap her. He went on to add that Mr A was a very bad person and was involved with many other women. All this happened on Feb 11.
While Devender had meticulously planned the crime, he had not anticipated the widespread media coverage Dipti's abduction would attract.
This made him nervous and he decided to send Dipti back to her family.
Importantly, Dipti had told him that her name was Sneha – this gives an indication of the crazy state Devender was in; he followed her for the last one year, kidnapped her, but he did not even know her real name!
Dipti Sarna's return
On Feb 12, Devender took Dipti to Sandal Kalan railway station located a few kilometres from his village and made her board a Delhi-bound train. Sandal Kalan is located some 10 kilometres before Sonipat on the Ambala-Delhi trunk rail route.
Before Dipti boarded the train, Devender asked her, “Tell me one thing, are you going back with a friend or an enemy?”
Once on board, Dipti took the help of a co-passenger to call up her father and asked him to pick her up from New Delhi Railway Station.
Devender is now under arrest but he remains unrepentant. “I have so many cases against me, if there is one more case, and that of love, then it means nothing to me.”
His interrogators said that Devender was deeply influenced by Adolf Hitler, Changez Khan and Shah Rukh Khan's character in the Bollywood move 'Darr'.
Devender believed that Dipti will think good of him despite the ordeal.
The fourth part of his 'plan' was: “After she marries me, I will go to Nepal and live a comfortable life with her.”