City-based businessman killed in Nairobi shopping mall attack

Last Updated 24 September 2013, 20:52 IST

A City businessman was among those killed in an attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi by Somalian Al-Shabaab militants.

B N Sudarshan (50) lived at Sridhar farm in Hejjala on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, about 25 km from here. Sudarshan was in Nairobi on a business trip. He was shot in the head around 2 pm on September 21.

“Yes, I lost my younger brother in the Westgate shopping mall siege. The Indian High Commission in Nairobi confirmed the death. We have received a picture of the body,” Sridhar, his elder brother, told Deccan Herald.

A bullet pierced through Sudarshan’s left eye and skull. The Indian High Commission has mailed his international driving licence and a picture of his body to the family.
Sudarshan, who lived with elder brothers Ramprasad and Sridhar at the farmhouse, was in the business of exporting concrete-mixing machines to African nations. He also supplied textbooks and notebooks.

Sudarshan left for Mumbai on September 20. From there, he had flown to Nairobi. He checked in at a three-star hotel close to the Westgate mall. He was in constant touch with his family and called them every three hours or sent emails.

“We received a call from him around 1:30 pm on September 21. He told us he had completed his work at Nairobi and would leave for Ghana soon,” Sridhar said. “That was his last call.”

Family members became worried about his safety after TV channels started broadcasting news of the attack. “We tried to contact him, but his phone was switched off. We waited for some response from him, via email or social networking sites, but in vain,” farm assistant Basavaraj said.

Sudarshan had booked the room online. The family members tried to contact the hotel authorities on September 23. “They told us that he had checked out of the hotel on September 21 and we realised that something unfortunate was in store for us,” Sridhar said. After repeated efforts, the family succeeded in contacting the Indian high commission. It was then that they learnt that Sudarshan was dead. His identity was established on the basis of his international driving licence.

Sudarshan had got himself tonsured at Tirupathi recently. “We knew that he was dead after seeing his picture. A heavily built bald man, wearing a T-shirt he had bought in Bangalore, with injuries on the left eye and head, was my brother,” Sridhar said. The family members are in touch with the State government, External Affairs Ministry, New Delhi and the Indian high commission. The body is likely to be brought back in a couple of days.

Cremation is likely to be held in Banashankari.

(Published 24 September 2013, 20:52 IST)

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