Varthur Prakash kidnap case cracked, six arrested
After investigations that ran for close to a month, the Kolar police cracked the kidnap case of former minister Varthur Prakash and arrested a gang of six habitual offenders.
Seemanth Kumar Singh, Inspector General of police, Central range, who supervised the investigation, said that the accused Kaviraj is a habitual offender with over 10 criminal cases in and around Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu. The accused was from Himachal Pradesh but had settled down in Hosur, working in the real estate sector as a broker. He formed a gang identifying people with money and abducted them for ransom, the police said.
Recently, he came to know about Prakash’s business venture and decided to target him. As per the plan, he abducted Prakash and his driver and demanded ₹30 crore before settling for ₹48 lakh.
The police, who took up the investigations, analysed the CCTV footage at the coffee shop where the ransom was paid. The police also analysed call record details of suspects before zeroing in on the accused, identified as S. Likhith, Ullas, Manoj, Raghavendra and Praveen.
The police have also seized a bike used to get the ransom amount, two cars, lethal weapons and cash of ₹20.5 lakh from the accused. A massive manhunt for the other accused who are on the run continues. Mr. Singh said that five special teams have been formed to probe the case.
Kaviraj was operating from outside and giving instructions to his associates over the phone. After his associates were arrested, the police used one of the accused as bait to track down Kaviraj. The associate was asked by the police to call him to come near Madurai to meet him. Kaviraj came to the spot, but suspecting something fishy, he tried to escape. However, after a chase, he was caught and arrested. But the associate escaped from police custody, the police said.
“We have taken Kaviraj into custody for further investigation,” Mr. Singh said.