In a bewildering sequence of events, a group of five men hijacked a Dial 100 police vehicle, tied the police officers and later kidnapped a girl from her house in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday morning (28 January).
The incident took place in a remote village in Panna district, superintendent of police Iqbal Riyaz told The Times of India newspaper.
One of the accused tricked the police officers by calling on the police emergency number 100 and reporting about a fake accident.
When three policemen reached the spot, a gang-member who was lying with his face down, pointed a gun at them, Zee News television channel reported.
According to reports, the kidnappers allegedly tied the officers and drove the vehicle to the house of 20-year-old Nirjala Patel.
They convinced the Nirjala and her father to accompany them to the police station. The kidnappers later threw the father out of the car and fled with the woman.
In his statement to the police, the father said that he was hesitant about opening the door at midnight.
"I opened the door only when I saw a police van parked outside. Although I suspected them, I went along. But they threw me out of the vehicle after some distance," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
The men then reportedly went back to the police to return their vehicle and this time fled with the girl in their own car.
According to Times of India newspaper, many policemen from the state of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are searching for the missing girl.
Iqbal said that about five to six criminals were involved in the kidnapping and they had "dispersed in different directions".
"We have rounded up a few people during the operations and they are being interrogated," he added.