A six-year-old was rescued and five people who allegedly abducted him were arrested on Saturday after meeting in Gonda district, Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
Some people, allegedly in possession of Health Department ID cards, came to a settlement in Colonelganj on Friday afternoon under the pretext of handing out masks, police said.
The grandson of gutkha trader Rajesh Kumar Gupta was standing at a distance when the suspects approached him to give him hand sanitizer and dragged him inside the vehicle. The family later received a call from a woman for a ransom of 4 crore rupees, a police official said.
In a joint operation, the Special Task Force (STF) and police rescued the child and arrested five kidnappers following a meeting, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi.
The car used for the kidnapping and three weapons were also recovered, Mr Awasthi said, adding that two of the kidnappers were also injured during the encounter.
Those arrested were identified as Suraj Pandey, Chhavi Pandey, Raj Pandey, Umesh Yadav and Deepu Kashyap, he said.
A reward of Rs 2 lakh had been declared for the joint team of the STF and the police, which carried out the operation, added the official.