K’taka ex-minister claims he was kidnapped, seeks police protection

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bengaluru, Dec 2 (IANS) Former Karnataka minister Varthur Prakash on Wednesday asked the state government to provide police protection to him and his family members, alleging that he was kidnapped along with his driver last week.

Speaking to reporters after he met Home Minister, Basavaraj Bommai here, Prakash alleged that he was kidnapped along with his driver on November 25. “Therefore I have sought police security cover for me as well as to my family members to protect myself from any such eventualities,” he said.

He added that he has lodged a police complaint on Tuesday.

Narrating his kidnap, he said that a gang of eight miscreants abducted him and his driver for ransom and released them later after extorting Rs 48 lakh from him.

He claimed that along with his driver he was brutally assaulted for three days in a row and held to ransom by a gang of eight kidnappers who had demanded Rs 30 crore for their release.

The former minister alleged that on November 25, he and his driver Suneel were at a farmhouse located in Begli Hosahalli in Kolar Gold Field and had left in his SUV to reach Kolar.

“Around 7 p.m., a gang of eight came in two cars and blocked my SUV. The gang threatened both of us with lethal weapons and forced me into one of their vehicles. The men tied our hands and legs and demanded Rs 30 crore,” he explained.

According to Prakash, he and his driver were assaulted inside the car when the former refused to give them money even as they were driven around Chintamani, Hoskote and around Bengaluru.

“Unable to take it anymore, Prakash added that he contacted his friend Nayaz, asking him to bring Rs 48 lakh in cash. The kidnappers took the cash in Kolar, but again resorted to torturing Prakash and his driver until midnight. In the wee hours on November 27, his driver Suneel lost consciousness. The gang assumed him to be dead and pushed him out of the car,” he explained.

He added that Suneel regained consciousness after a while and managed to escape. Fearing they would be caught by the police, the kidnappers took Prakash to an open ground near Shivanapura and threw him out of the vehicle. Passersby helped Prakash to a hospital in K. R. Puram where he was treated.

In his complaint filed at the Bellandur police station in Bengaluru, Prakash said that the kidnappers released him after his driver managed to escape.

He lodged a complaint with the Bellandur police and an FIR has been registered by the police under sections 341, 342, 307, 364, 364A and 324 of India Penal Code.

Prakash’s abandoned Toyota Fortuner SUV was found near the Halanahalli graveyard in Bellandur with at least 1 kg of chilli powder strewn around in the vehicle. Prakash and his driver sustained severe cut injuries on their legs.

It is worth noting here, Prakash, belongs to Kuruba community, was elected back-to-back for two terms from Kolar Assembly constituency between 2008 and 2013 as an independent candidate. He was minister in the BJP government headed by D. V. Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.

Despite winning the seat twice, none of the parties were ready to induct him into their parties, frustrated by this he floated his own party – Namma Congress Party – in 2107. In the 2018 Assembly elections, he lost to Janata Dal (S) K. Srinivasa Gowda from Kolar.

Incidentally, on January 30, 2018, Kolar Rural police had registered an FIR against six persons, including Varthur Prakash, then MLA of Kolar, in connection with grabbing land belonging to a Dalit family by creating fake documents and threatening their lives.

–IANS

nbh/rt