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Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal passes away after heart attack in Chennai

The founder of popular South Indian food chain Saravana Bhavan had surrendered to serve life term few days ago.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 18, 2019, 06.15 PM IST
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Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal passes away due to cardiac arrest
Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal passes away due to cardiac arrest
P Rajagopal, 72, founder of the Hotel Saravana Bhavan chain of restaurants having outlets from Stockholm to Singapore, passed away in a Chennai hospital after a massive heart attack.

Rajagopal, whose entrepreneurial venture came to be the sole destination for middle-class outings for decades now, had surrendered before the Madras High Court recently to begin his jail term after a recent conviction in an abduction and murder case filed nearly two decades ago.

Ailing, at 72, Rajagopal was sent to the Stanley Medical Hospital for treatment. He was brought to court in an ambulance, dressed in a white shirt and dhoti and an oxygen mask on his face. Later, he had filed a petition seeking to be shifted to the private hospital he was earlier at (Vijaya Hospital). The court had allowed him to move to the private hospital, although his health was said to be severely deteriorating due to the burden and stress of litigation.

The Supreme Court, in March, upheld his conviction and increased his sentence to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of ordering the abduction and murder of the husband of an employee’s daughter he wanted to take on as his third wife, acting on the advice on an astrologer.

Rajagopal had made several advances of Jeevajothi, the daughter of an Assistant Manager who lived with his family in the lodgings provided by Rajagopal. Despite spurning his advances, Rajagopal pursued. It culminated finally in the murder of Jeevajothi’s husband Shanta Kumar. Originally in 2004, Rajagopal had the final verdict out against him recently.

Despite the conviction, Rajagopal was seen as a benevolent employer by his subordinates and staff across chains. Hailed as Annachi, meaning elder brother, Rajagopal was known for his caring attitude towards his employees.

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