Masala king's son kidnapped and murdered for ransom | india | Hindustan Times
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Masala king's son kidnapped and murdered for ransom

The body of eight-year-old Kush -- son of central India’s ‘Masala king’ Prashant Kataria -- who was kidnapped on October 11, was found near an under construction Gurudwada at Suryanagar in east Nagpur on Saturday morning.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2011 19:45 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

The body of eight-year-old Kush -- son of central India’s ‘Masala king’ Prashant Kataria -- who was kidnapped on October 11, was found near an under construction Gurudwada at Suryanagar in east Nagpur on Saturday morning.

The kidnappers had made a Rs 2-crore ransom demand from Kataria -- who owns one of country’s well-known Masala (spice) brands, Suruchi Spices Limited -- to release Kush.

Kush was abducted when he was playing outside his Wardhaman Nagar home on Tuesday evening. The incident went unnoticed for about an hour. It came to light only when the kidnappers made the ransom call to Kataria.

The kidnapper, who called from a public telephone booth, had warned the Kataria family against informing the police. But, in this particular case, the Katarias did not receive any fresh demand or call from the kidnappers after the first call made on Tuesday evening.

The police had arrested one Ayush Pugalia (24), an alleged cricket bookie, who lives in Katarias’ neighbourhood, as the prime suspect on Wednesday evening. Initially, he tried to be evasive to police queries and claimed innocence, but on Saturday morning confessed to have committed the crime. Ayush, it seems, was too scared to make another ransom call after the one made on Tuesday evening. He also admitted to have killed Kush the same night he abducted the boy. Ayush accompanied the police to the spot where Kush’s mutilated body lay.

It is said that Ayush suffered a huge loss in business. Moreover, he was virtually bankrupt for maintaining a relationship with a Bangalore-based his girlfriend and to make easy money, he hatched a plan to kidnap Kush. Police suspect involvement of more than one person in the crime.

Investigating officer Anil Choudhary said that they have no information if any ransom was paid or not. There were several head injuries that appear to have been inflicted by a stone. After an autopsy, the body was handed over to the Kataria family this afternoon.

Tension prevailed in Wardhaman Nagar when the boy’s body was brought to Kataria residence. A huge crowd that gathered there shouted slogans against police. They also pelted stones at Ayush’s house.