Karnataka former minister abducted, released after ransom

Bengaluru

In a daring operation, former Karnataka Minister Varthur Prakash was allegedly abducted from Bengaluru by eight people on November 25 and was released only after he paid a Rs48 lakh ransom.

Initially, the abductors had demanded Rs30 crore. Prakash reportedly refused to pay anything, but had to give in when he and his driver were allegedly tortured. He asked one of his friends to arrange Rs48 lakh which was eventually paid to the abductors on Nov 28. He was then released near Hoskote on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

"Prakash has stated he was abducted along with his driver by a gang of 8 people when he had gone to his farmhouse in the Kolar Gold Fields," a source said. He was allegedly driven to an isolated place and tortured. Prakash lodged a complaint at the Bellandur police station after returning home, police sources said.

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. Two police teams will probe the case.

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