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4 kidnapping suspects dead in rescue of Indian trader

CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan—Four suspected kidnappers were killed in a clash with policemen during a Jan. 3 rescue operation for an Indian trader in Sta. Maria town, a police report released on Tuesday said.

Senior Supt. Joel Orduña, acting Bulacan police director, said the suspects, among them a woman, fought a police team led by Supt. Laureo Marinas, chief of the police’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) here, who raided a hog farm in Barangay Balasing in Sta. Maria on Thursday last week to rescue Gurtej Singh, 36.

Singh was seized with his wife, Kulwinder Kaur, 36, in Barangay Sto. Cristo in Pulilan town on Dec. 22. The couple live in Baliwag town.

P10M ransom

Kaur was released by the suspects on Dec. 29 to raise a

P10-million ransom.

Kaur said she was pressured to raise the amount after she received a finger from her husband’s left hand.

A police report showed she made an initial payment in Rizal province, but it did not indicate the date this took place.

Kaur was expected to make a second payoff on Jan. 3, the day the police scheduled the rescue operation.

Armed with two pistols and a grenade, the suspects fired at the police team, which retaliated and killed all of Singh’s captors.

Mutilated hand

Singh was found alive, but he had stab wounds and a mutilated hand.

Only two of the slain suspects were identified, said Supt. Leilene Amparo, Sta. Maria police chief. Their bodies were released to relatives but police declined to release their names pending the completion of investigation, she said.

The remains of the two other suspects were taken to the Grace and Glory Funeral Services in Sta. Maria.

Woman suspect

Orduña said police arrested a woman who served as the hog farm’s caretaker and who was believed to be married to one of the slain suspects.

Police said two of the slain suspects were identified by another Indian, Mangat Singh, as the same people who abducted him in Pulilan on Nov. 13 last year. Mangat Singh was released after he also paid ransom.

While kidnappings are most rampant in some parts of Mindanao, cases of abductions are still being reported in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

Authorities said some victims are reluctant to cooperate with police and prefer to deal directly with kidnappers. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon

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Tags: Crime , Indian , Kidnapping

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