Gulf-returnee abducted at gunpoint from Kozhikode house found a day later

Meppayur (Kozhikode): A 35-year-old man, who was kidnapped at gunpoint from his residence at Arikkulam early on Tuesday, has been found a day later. He was found injured near a sawmill at Kunnamangalam, about 14 km east of Kozhikode city on Wednesday morning.

A six-member gang had barged into his house around 6.30 am on Tuesday, and whisked Meethal Ashraf away in a vehicle. Ashraf was sleeping upstairs when the gang barged into his residence.

The man’s mother, daughter and brother were present when Ashraf was forcefully taken away. Police said the man had smuggled gold for a Koduvally-based gang before.

The Koyilandy police registered a case based on a complaint by Ashraf’s brother on Tuesday.

Investigators suspect that Ashraf, who had returned from Saudi Arabia a month ago, was kidnapped since he refused to hand over the smuggled gold to its owner.

The gang had earlier demanded money instead of gold, and threatened Ashraf of dire consequences if he refused to meet the demand.

Police said Ashraf was arrested four years ago at the airport for smuggling gold. He has been now admitted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

Ashraf claimed the abductors let him off near the sawmill.

Police have found that the registration number of the gang’s vehicle was fake.

A team comprising Vadakara Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) K K Abdul Sharief, Crime Branch DSP R Haridasan, Special Branch DSP K Ismail and Inspector N Sunil Kumar have been probing the case under the supervision of Kozhikode (Rural) police chief A Sreenivasan.

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