When Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna returned after being missing for 36 hours, the police had initially suspected the involvement of someone close to her. This was because, according to her own testimony, she had not been assaulted or tortured, but was treated well by her abductors.
However, in an eloquent address to media persons on Monday, Ghaziabad SSP Dharmendra Singh compared the accused Devendra to Shah Rukh Khan's character in the film Darr. The police claimed that the accused did not know Dipti but was 'infatuated' with her.
Indeed, if one goes by the police's version of events, the sequence of events could well make for a Bollywood thriller. According to the SSP, the accused first saw Dipti with a friend for the first time in January-February 2015 at Rajiv Chowk in Delhi. Subsequently, in one year, he is said to have stalked her around 150 times, after which he abducted her. The police have claimed that he was a 'well-known criminal' and that he had escaped from the custody of the police while being produced in court.
The accused has around 30 cases registered against him, the first one being in 2001, according to the police. The charges against him pertain to murder, attempt to murder and dacoity.
The accused, a graduate, has read Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in jail, the police claimed, adding that the dictator's memoirs are one of his influences.
The police, it would seem, was not content to compare the accused with only Shah Rukh. There was another Khan with whom they would draw parallels.
A Hindustan Times report has quoted a police source as saying that he was a 'Dabanng'-like figure in his village. According to the officer, he had recently settled a land deal between two men, which earned him Rs 5 lakh. With this money, he bought two autorickshaws, which he would later use to carry out a meticulously planned, and nevertheless botched up, abduction attempt.
According to the SSP Ghaziabad, the accused Devendra wanted to escape to Nepal along with the girl and settle into a lavish life there. However, that was not to be.
The autorickshaw in which he was travelling with the victim broke down, after which he took her into his car and headed towards his native village. But this was not the end of his troubles. According to the police, his car, too, ran out of gas, after which the accused, undeterred, borrowed his cousin's car and continued on his journey.
It is not yet clear, however, why the accused let the woman go free subsequently. One wonders from which film/historical character he got the inspiration for his change of heart.