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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2677

Dosa King P Rajagopal, Founder of Saravana Bhavan dies in Chennai

Chennai, 19 July, (Asiantribune.com):

Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal, convicted in a murder case, died at a private hospital here Thursday (18th July), sources said.

Rajagopal had surrendered along with another accused earlier to serve life term after the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking more time on grounds of ill-health.

Rajagopal, was shifted to a private hospital in the city from the state-run Stanley Medical College Hospital following a court direction on Tuesday, died around 10 a.m Thursday, a source close to him told PTI.

Rajagopal rose from rags to riches to create the Saravana Bhawan chain which has more than 80 eateries in India and around the world, from Leicester Square to Lexington Avenue via Singapore, Sydney and Stockholm.

He had been battling for 15 years to avoid prison since being convicted over the killing of the husband of a woman he wanted to make his third wife, reportedly on the advice of his astrologer.

But Rajagopal’s world came crashing down when he made up his mind to pursue the daughter of one of his legions of adoring employees, believing that she would bring him even greater success.

“He was obsessed with her,” D. Suresh Kumar, a Chennai-based journalist told AFP.

The woman, then in her 20s, was already married and rejected Rajagopal’s advances.

He targeted the woman with threats, blackmail, and even exorcisms, but when they failed the businessman hired a gunman to kill the woman’s husband.

One attempt was unsuccessful, but the man’s body was later found in a forest in Tamil Nadu.

In 2004, Rajagopal was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years. When he appealed, the sentence was increased to life and the punishment was upheld by the Supreme Court in March.

Rajagopal had surrendered along with another accused earlier to serve life term after the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking more time on grounds of ill-health.

While upholding the life sentence awarded to Rajagopal for murdering an employee in October 2001 to marry his wife, the Supreme Court had ordered him to surrender in the trial court on July 7.

- Asian Tribune –

P Rajagopal had surrendered before a local court to serve life sentence in a murder case and had been shifted to Vijaya Hospital. (ANI)
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