Kidnap for recouping losses shocks people, experts sound warning


New Delhi : The sensational kidnapping of a 14-year-old schoolboy by a businessman and two management students for ransom to make up for their market losses has left people shocked, and experts have warned of more such crimes as the global economic crisis worsens.

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“Financial markets are seen by aspirants as a means to make fast money. With rising costs of living and high real-estate prices, I am not surprised that middle-class professionals find decent living to be beyond their means,” Parveen Dubey, a Chennai-based researcher, told IANS.

“If people are risk-seeking, their ethical parameters naturally weaken, and the consequence is such cases,” Dubey said.

Piyush Jain, 21, and Rohit Chopra, 24, post-graduate students in business administration at IMT in Ghaziabad and IGNOU respectively, and kingpin Bharat Jhamb were arrested Monday for allegedly kidnapping Arjun Verma, a Class 9 student of the Gyan Bharati School. Arjun is a first cousin of Jhamb.

“Money has always been one of the major factors behind the heinous crimes. The stock market crash has forced people on their backfoot and we fear that more people might take to crime to make up for their loss of hard-earned savings,” said a senior Delhi Police official, requesting anonymity.

“It is time to provide mental support and counselling to those who have been severely hit financially. The family support system is very important for preventing people from taking wrong ways,” the officer added.

The official warned that the present situation might take serious proportions if more companies are required to hand over pink slips to their employees.

A number of people who went jobless in recent weeks have committed suicides.

“People are losing jobs and facing trouble in finding new jobs. They are under a lot of pressure. It would certainly push up the crime graph,” Ajit Kumar, who teaches in a Delhi school, told IANS.

“The youngsters are under more pressure because of their lifestyle. Succumbing to such pressure would definitely have long-lasting effects,” Kumar added.

Charu Dey, a city-based teacher with a private school, said: “This is a manifestation of the current obsession with materialism. It’s a dangerous trend.”