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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Indian Police Foil Kidnap Of Cricketer

NEW DELHI --Police said Tuesday they had foiled a plot by separatist militants to kidnap Kapil Dev, India's best known cricketer.

"Thank God that their plan did not succeed. We uncovered their plan before any damage was done," said Punjab police chief Sube Singh.

Singh said the militants, who want independence for the Indian region of Kashmir, had hoped to swap the former Indian captain for jailed colleagues.

Kapil Dev, the world's highest test wicket taker, lives in Chandigarh, capital of Punjab state, which borders Kashmir.

Police said they discovered the kidnapping plot after arresting a suspected Kashmiri militant who was carrying an unlicensed pistol, money and a map of Kapil Dev's neighborhood. During interrogation, the suspect said he had come to Punjab along with five others to kidnap the cricket star.

More than 14,500 people have died in Kashmir's seven-year independence war.

Kapil Dev has taken 434 test wickets since his test debut on Oct. 16, 1978, against Pakistan. He led the national team known as "Kapil's Devils" that won the cricket World Cup in 1983.

Kapil Dev became the first Indian all-rounder to score more than 2,000 runs and capture more than 100 wickets in one-day internationals.