Ola was ready to pay Rs 5-crore ransom, say police


New Delhi, July 20 : A day after a 29-year-old Delhi doctor kidnapped by an Ola cab driver was rescued from Uttar Pradesh, the Delhi Police on Thursday said the company was “not hesitant” to pay the ransom of Rs 5 crore the kidnappers had demanded.

Sreekanth, 29, who was kidnapped from Preet Vihar Metro Station in east Delhi by an Ola cab driver on July 6, was rescued by the Delhi Police after a shootout in Meerut on Wednesday.

“From their (Ola) talks, I understood that they were more concerned about the customer’s safety and of course their reputation and they were not hesitant to pay the money,” Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Singh Yadav said when asked whether Ola was ready to pay the ransom.

The police officer said that the kidnappers did not get the money as they were too stubborn.

“The kidnappers asked us to leave the money in some far off fields or jungle and then come back to get the doctor, but we were not ready for this. What if they took the money and did something to the customer (Sreekanth),” Yadav said.

The officer said this became a sticky point and due to this the kidnappers did not get the money.

“We and Ola company told them (kidnappers) that customer’s safety is paramount to us and unless and until there is a surety of his safety, how can we give them the money?” Yadav said.

The driver of the Ola cab that Sreekanth boarded on July 6 night kidnapped him with the help of his friends who were waiting at a distance.

On July 7 morning, they called up the Bangalore office of Ola and demanded a ransom of Rs 5 crore for his release and threatened to kill Sreekanth if the money was not paid.

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