Updated February 15th, 2024 at 17:26 IST

Eleven Indian Hostages in Nepal Freed by Kathmandu Police, 7 Detained

At least 11 Indian hostages were held in a rented house for more than a month in the Ratopul area on the outskirts of Kathmandu, police say.

Reported by: Digital Desk
A representational image of an arrest. | Image:Pixabay
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Kathmandu police on Thursday rescued eleven Indian nationals who were taken hostages and held since a month in Nepal on pretext of being sent to the United States via Mexico. Kathmandu police arrested seven accused Indians for their alleged involvement in the smuggling racket, sources told agencies.

At least 11 Indian hostages were held in a rented house for more than a month in the Ratopul area on the outskirts of Kathmandu, police say. The perpetrators came under the police radar after a tip off. A special team of police dispatched from the Kathmandu District Police Range to conduct the rescue operation.

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As the hostages were rescued, the Kathmandu police presented the Indian agents in front of the media. Among the arrested are the Indian nationals and also a Nepali citizen. The Indian nationals arrested by the Kathmandu police are Abdul Rahim, Indu Singh Yadav, Charanjit Singh, Ashok Kumar, Manish Kumar Malhotra, Ravi Nawade, Nipun Gupta, Mohammed and Sabir Miya. And one Nepali national, Ram Chandra Sharma is also arrested, according to SSP Bhupendra Khatri, who heads the Kathmandu Police Range, Republic has learnt.

The hostages were brought from India to Kathmandu. All eleven were taken captive in a rented house in Kathmandu, Khatri said.

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Agents tortured hostages, beat them for additional money: Police

The agents “tortured them [hostages] and beat them if they failed to give additional money to them. The racketeers forced them to call the family members of all 11 Indian nationals and asked them to provide additional money under the pretext of sending them to the United States of America,” Khatri further added. Each hostage paid to the agents an estimated 4.5 million INR to the racketeers. They were promised to be trafficked to the United States, the Kathmandu police official said. A Nepali national assisted the Indian agents in preparing the fake documents, Khatri added.

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Kathmandu police has booked the agents on charges of human trafficking, kidnapping, and taking hostages. “ Indu Singh Yadav, is the mastermind of the case,” Khatri said, revealing the identity of one of the agents. “The kidnappers used to cover the window with a green curtain to showcase the family members of the Indian nationals that their relatives had reached Mexico,” the latter said.

Further, Khatri said that the agents fixed the time of Mexico, forged duplicate plane tickets, and boarding passes in an effort to funnel more money from the family members of the Indian nationals. “By showing all these fake and duplicate things, these kidnappers used to extort more money from their family members,” Khatri informed.

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While the hostages were held in a rented apartment, in case of any suspicion, the agents pretended that the Indian nationals were there to sew pillows, quilts, and mattresses. The rent for the house cost Rs 75 thousand per month.

“They brought the people in different tranches,” said SSP Khatrai during a press conference, adding that the police “launched ‘Operation Donkey’ to rescue the Indian nationals.” The police would keep the agents in judicial custody for another five days as an investigation into the incident was launched.

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Published February 15th, 2024 at 17:26 IST