Ex Karnataka Minister abducted in Bengaluru, released on paying Rs 48 lakh ransom

Varthur Prakash paid Rs 48 lakh ransom, which was arranged by a friend, to his abductors after he was physically tortured.
Varthur Prakash
Varthur Prakash
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Former Karnataka Minister Varthur Prakash was allegedly abducted in Bengaluru by eight people on November 25. According to the police, Prakash was released near Hoskote on the outskirts of Bengaluru on November 28 after a friend of his paid a ransom of Rs 48 lakh.

"Prakash has stated that he was abducted along with his driver by a gang of eight people when he had gone to his farmhouse in the Kolar Gold Fields," a source said, adding the former minister was allegedly driven to a secluded place and tortured. Prakash lodged a complaint with the Bellandur police station after returning home, police sources said. When reporters sought to know about the incident, Prakash said, "I will let you know."

Prakash had twice won as Independent MLA from Kolar constituency and was a minister in the BJP government in Karnataka from 2012 to 2013. He had founded his own political party -- Namma Congress -- in 2017 but he lost the 2018 Assembly Election to K Srinivasa Gowda from Kolar.

Deccan Herald reported that the assailants had initially demanded Rs 30 crore as ransom. The report said that two special teams of police have been formed to identify and take the suspects into custody. DH quoted Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) D Devraj saying that the assailants had covered their faces with masks and their identity is yet to be established. Police are relying on CCTV footage of nearby areas to track the movement of the car they came in.

DH said according to the FIR (First Information Report) registered by Bellandur police, the former minister and his driver were thrashed by the abductors after being kidnapped. While Prakash initially refused to arrange ransom money, he eventually gave up after being tortured. This is when Prakash asked his friend Nayaz to bring Rs 48 lakh which the abductors took.

However the gang continued to torture the two until his driver fell unconcious following which they were let go. Both of them are recovering at a private hospital.

(PTI inputs)

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