Indian Executive Fights Off Kidnapper Carrying AK-47

A morning walk turned into a fight for Nithyananda Reddy, co-founder and vice chairman of India’s Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., as he resisted an attempt by a man armed with an AK-47 rifle to kidnap him.

Reddy and his brother fought with the assailant, escaping three bullets fired by the man, D. Uday Kumar Reddy, assistant commissioner of police in Hyderabad, said in an interview. The bullets hit Reddy’s car, the police official said.

The attempt to kidnap an executive of a company in India’s Hyderabad city, home to local offices of Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., may prompt firms to boost security. Shares of Aurobindo have risen fourfold in the past 12 months, turning co-founder P.V. Ramaprasad Reddy into a billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“I go to the same park for my morning walks.” G.V. Prasad, chief executive officer of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., India’s second-largest drugmaker, said in an interview. “I’ve never felt the need for security. Now I’m not so sure.”

Two phone calls to Aurobindo for comment went unanswered.

The incident is the first of its type in Hyderabad in more than two decades, according to Vinod Goswami, the head of Rishika Security Services’ office in the city.

“It will make the business community jittery,” he said. Hyderabad is a center for information-technology and pharmaceutical companies.

Aurobindo, a supplier to Pfizer Inc., dropped 1.7 percent to 1,122.3 rupees at the close in Mumbai. Ramaprasad Reddy set up Aurobindo Pharma in 1986 along with Nityananda Reddy and a group, according to the drugmaker’s website.

Hyderabad police are looking for the man, who escaped during the scuffle with Reddy and his brother, Kumar Reddy said. The attacker seemed to know of Reddy’s walking routine and must have planned the kidnapping accordingly, he said.

“I find it hard to digest that a man tries to kidnap someone using an AK-47, which makes me believe there may be more to this than meets the eye,” said Dr. Reddy’s Prasad.

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