NOIDA: Four men, who allegedly abducted their landlord and smothered him with a pillow after soliciting a ransom of Rs 10 lakh from his family, have been arrested in , police said on Monday.

They were held on Sunday evening near Jalpura village in Greater Noida, they said.

The main accused was peeved over repeated demands from his landlord for a pending rent of Rs 50,000 and had therefore planned the killing with his aides -– all of them living as tenants in Aimnabad village, according to the police.

On February 22, Vijaypal Singh, 45, had left home for a wedding but did not return till late in the night when his family approached the Bisrakh police and a missing complaint was lodged.

The family got a ransom call of Rs 10 lakh the next day and they again reached out to the police after which an FIR was registered on February 24. The call was made from the mobile phone of Singh, a senior official said.

The complaint was made by Singh‘s elder brother Udayveer, who had named the tenants Alok Shivhare, Dheeraj Narayan, Sunny Kumar alias Raju Diwakar and Rakesh Pal as suspects, the official.

“The involvement of these four men emerged during interrogation by the police and they were subsequently arrested,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna said.

The accused had called Singh for a meeting at their rented accommodation and got him drunk after which they suffocated him to death using a pillow, he said.

“They then took the body and dumped it in a godown in Delhi‘s Ghazipur area,” the SSP told reporters, adding, “The police have recovered the pillow that was used to choke him to death and the body has also been recovered.”

According to the police, the accused had used Singh‘s own vehicle to transport his body from Greater Noida to Ghazipur on the night of February 22, and had called for ransom after killing him.

They have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 364 (Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), the police said.

The accused were produced in a court on Monday which remanded them in judicial custody, they added.

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