Convict in Kush Kataria murder case killed in jail brawl

Convict in Kush Kataria murder case killed in jail brawl

A convict undergoing a triple life-term in the sensational kidnap and murder of an eight-year-old son of an industrialist, was killed in a jail brawl with a co-inmate inside Nagpur Central Jail on Monday, a police official said.

According to police official Virendrasingh Thakur of Nagpur Control, the incident occurred around 7.15 a.m. when the victim Aayush Nirmal Pugaliya was attacked on the head and throat with a broken floor tile — he later succumbed to the injuries.

A 25-year-old inmate, Sooraj V. Kotnake, undergoing a life-term for murder, has been arrested in connection with the killing by the Dhantoli police, Thakur said.

The motive behind the killing is tentatively believed to be previous enmity between Pugaliya and Kotnake, and further investigations are underway.

Pugaliya, along with at least two accomplices, was arrested for the kidnap and murder of Kush Kataria, the eight-year-old son of a local industrialist and ‘Masala King’ Prashant Kataria of the well-known brand Suruchi Spices Pvt. Ltd.

The little boy, Kush, was playing outside their home in the posh Vardhaman Nagar, on October 11, 2011, from where he was abducted and killed after a single ransom money call was made that evening.

In the ransom call, the kidnappers demanded Rs 20 million (Rs 2 crore) for his release, but they later apparently panicked and killed the boy.

They dumped his body in a water tank near an under-construction building in Kalamna area of the city. The police found the body on October 15, four days after the kidnapping.

Following a massive public outcry, the police moved swiftly and arrested Aayush, and his brothers Nitin and Navin in connection with the kidnap-cum-murder and filed the charge-sheet in a local court.

In April 2013, the trial ended with the Nagpur Sessions Court finding Pugaliya guilty and awarding him a rare double life sentence which would run consecutively.

This was later upheld and enhanced to a rare triple life-sentence by the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench, in June 2015, with the judges ruling that two life-sentences would run consecutively and the third concurrently.

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