: A businessman from Mangalore was allegedly abducted from the Kempe Gowda bus-stand here by a woman and her three accomplices, who released him after getting a ransom of Rs. 1.5 lakh, according to the police.

Mohammed Iqbal (30), who owns a supermarket in Padil in Mangalore, said he had become friends with a woman, identified as Bhanu, a regular customer at his shop. On September 25, Bhanu called him on his phone from Bangalore asking him for money. Since Iqbal happened to be in Bangalore, he decided to meet her at the underpass of Kempe Gowda bus-stand. While he was about to handover the money, three men forced him into a van along with Bhanu and moved around the city, while threatening and beating him.

When he refused to yield to their demand, the men beat him up and clicked photos of him with Bhanu and blackmailed him to give them Rs. 5 lakh.

The accused also forcibly took Rs. 3,000 from him for fuel, according to the police.

The three then forced him to withdraw Rs. 41,000 using his debit card and later demanded that he get money from his family. They threatened to deliver the photos to his family if he failed to do so.

Iqbal managed to negotiate and bring down the ransom amount to Rs. 1 lakh and called his friend Kabir to arrange for the money.

As per the arrangement, Kabir delivered the cash to a person in Mangalore. After collecting the money, the accused dumped Iqbal at a parking lot in Kempe Gowda bus-stand.

Iqbal later approached the City Railway police station and filed a complaint and gave the police the mobile number of the accused. Initial inquiries by the police revealed that the victim had a “relationship” with the accused woman, who misused the opportunity to extort money from him.

The case was transferred to the Cottonpet police station on September 30, but the police are yet to initiate investigations.

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