Former teacher Mohan Kumar,50,who was convicted in the past two days of three of 20 murders of young women he allegedly committed,pleaded for leniency Thursday even as the prosecution sought death during sentencing arguments in the court of the fourth additional district and sessions judge in Mangalore. The sentencing is on Friday.
Kumar has been found guilty of the murder of Anitha,22,in 2009,Leelavathi,26,in 2005 and Sunanda,32,in 2008. Seeking leniency,he said in a written plea to judge B K Naik that he was a poor man with a family that included two children and an ill mother to support.
The prosecution argued that Kumar was a cold-blooded killer who preyed on vulnerabilities of poor women to rape,loot and poison them to death. It said he committed the series of crimes despite being a father,husband and a son.
His arrest in October 2009 had unravelled the mystery behind a series of deaths of young women in toilets,hotel rooms and lodges in Bangalore,Mysore,Madikeri and Hassan since 2003. Kumar allegedly lured 20 young women from the Mangalore region to travel with him after winning their confidence with the promise of marriage.
The Mangalore police zeroed in on Kumar while probing the June 2009 disappearance of Anitha from Barimaru village in Bantwal taluk of the district. She had left home saying she was going to a dentist.
Kumar was caught after he used the mobile phone of Anitha to contact his next victim,26-year-old woman Yashodha of Belthangady,who was killed in September the same year.