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Gunmen snatch Williamsville teen


The day after the Government and the Opposition agreed to pass the bill denying bail to kidnap offenders, a Williamsville teenager was abducted from his father’s businessplace at gunpoint and in full view of his family.

The incident occurred around 9.10 pm on Saturday.

Rajiv Changoor, 19, was returning to his father’s grocery, Changoor’s Supermarket, at Ecclesville, Williamsville, when three armed men accosted him and threw him in the back of a waiting car.

Police from the Princes Town and Gasparillo stations, as well as members of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad responded, but the kidnappers had already escaped.

At the family’s home, the mood was sombre as relatives struggled to come to terms with the incident.

But the grocery remained open for business.

“Christmas season must go on, and keeping the grocery open is a way to give the family something to do and take their minds off worrying,” said Rajiv’s uncle Krishna.

He said the entire incident lasted about two minutes.

“We were locking up the supermarket when Rajiv came home from delivering groceries in the area,” he recalled.

“He usually beeps his horn when he gets back so we know he has returned home. His father went to open the door to let him inside but when he came out of the van three men with guns snatched him and forced him into a car.”

He said when the teen’s father saw the gun, he ran back inside and called the police.

Krishna said he did not know whether the kidnapping was a spur of the moment one or if the kidnappers had monitored the movements of the family during the weeks before.

“The men may not necessarily have singled out Rajiv. He has two brothers and could have been that they were targeting, any one of them that was available,” he said, expressing concern also about his nephew’s health.

“He suffered slight asthma but something like this could bring out a serious attack.”

The men escaped in a silver Nissan Almera.

Members of the media were told that Changoor’s mother Carol and father Gandhi were not available for comment.

No ransom has yet been demanded.

“We take the normal precautions to try to protect ourselves but there is only so much that you can do to prevent crime,” commented Krishna.

Investigations are continuing.

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