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    In this Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 photo, a waiter serves wine to a group learning wine appreciation and fine dining, being conducted by Tulleeho Beverage Innovations at a restaurant in New Delhi, India

    Large Indian Restaurant Chains' Owner Dies of Cardiac Arrest after Murder Conviction

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Serving a life-term for kidnapping and murdering the husband of a woman whom he wished to have as his third wife, an Indian man who founded a South Indian restaurant chain died of cardiac arrest on Thursday.

    The 72-year-old founded a South Indian restaurant chain called Saravana Bhavan, which is popular in different parts of the world.

    Though originally convicted by the Madras High Court in 2009, P. Rajagopal had evaded arrest for 10 years on medical grounds.

    Just a few days ago, the Supreme Court of India confirmed P. Rajagopal’s sentence handed out by the Madras High Court, for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of one of his employees.

    He was brought by ambulance to surrender before the Chennai court on 9 July to serve his sentence after being turned away by the top court of the country.

    He was later admitted to a local hospital, where he died of cardiac arrest.

    His popular South Indian restaurant is known to have pioneered the dine-out culture in the rather conservative city of Chennai in 1981 and popularised the “Dosa” – a flat, thin, layered pancake across the world.

    The restaurant chain has a presence in 23 countries – from Leicester Square in London to Lexington Avenue, New York, from Singapore to Sydney and Stockholm.

    Rajagopal’s story was that of a slumdog-turned millionaire, with the elements of an Indian film plot – rising from being a 'gofer' in a hotel to building up one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, and finally being caught by the law. 


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