Kolkata– Haldiram’s Kolkata food chain owner Mahesh Agarwal’s death in Singapore in April has triggered a serious tussle within the family over the property, according to sources.
The tussle broke out in open when Agarwal’s two Kolkata stores were targeted by miscreants, reportedly encouraged by a section of the family. The miscreants also took away items, like laptops and pen drives that contained sensitive information such as bank details of the company and its properties.
A complaint was filed with the Shakespeare Sarani police station. “We have registered a case and collected a lot of CCTV footage in connection with the incident. We are examining them,” Kolkata Police Joint Commissioner (crime) Murlidhar Sharma told IANS.
Sharma said there were case and counter-case on the same incident. “We are looking into all possible aspects of the incident and will take action against the offenders accordingly,” he said.
However, the case would progress further only if both sides pressed charges, he added.
According to the police sources, a few members of the Haldiram family have been quizzed, but no one has been detained.
Nothing was clear about the internal family dispute as well as the reason behind such actions (encouragement for break-in) by few members of the extended Haldiram family.
According to reports, an estranged widow’s bitter struggle over property rights could be behind the the incident.
The company was set up by Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, a businessman from Bikaner in Rajasthan. The family shifted to Kolkata a decade after the Independence in 1947.
The Agarwal siblings split in the early 1990s, dividing business operations in four different zones. While Manoharlal and Madhusudan got the north Indian markets, Shiv Kishan the south and west markets, and Prabhu Shankar and Ashok the markets in east India.
When in 2013, a court ruling barred Prabhu Shankar and Ashok from using the “Haldiram’s Bhujiawala” name, the duo re-branded it as “Prabhuji: From the house of Haldiram’s”.
Mahesh, a cousin of Prabhu Shankar, had a serious issues with wife Meena who stayed separately with the children for almost eight years.
Mahesh had been taken to Singapore for liver transplant by Sharad Agarwal, his trusted lieutenant for many years. But he died in April. Sharad had run ailing Mahesh’s fast-food and sweetmeat businesses for many years.
According to the media reports, Sharad’s father Ravi, a cousin of Mahesh, had died in a car accident in Bikaner in the 90s.
According to family insiders, Mahesh had split his Rs 1,200 crore ancestral properties in three parts – to his son Pratik, sister Manju and Sharad with a stringent condition that no one would be allowed to sell the assets and the trio would develop the branch of the foods company beyond its current turnover of Rs 4,000 crore. (IANS)