Serial killer Mohan Kumar, known as ‘Cyanide Mohan’, has been sentenced to death in connection with the rape and murder of an Anganwadi worker from Bantwal in Mangaluru district in 2005.
The sixth Additional District and Sessions Judge Sayeedunnisa on Thursday handed down the death penalty to Kumar and directed the district legal services authority to pay compensation to the victim’s sister.
Kumar promised to marry the woman and took her to Bengaluru where he sexually abused her. The next day, Kumar gave her a cyanide pill after convincing her it is used for contraception. She was found dead at Kempegowda Bus Station in Bengaluru on October 22, 2005.
Mohan has already been sentenced in multiple cases, including 10 years for abduction, seven years for rape, 10 years for poisoning, five years for robbery, 10 years for voluntary causing hurt in committing robbery, one year for cheating and seven years for destroying evidence.
Public prosecutor Judith O M Crasta said all sentences will run concurrently till the death sentence is confirmed by the high court. This is the 17th case in which Kumar stood trial and the fourth case where he received death sentence. Another three cases are pending trial.
In the earlier three death sentences handed to Kumar, the Karnataka High Court has commuted it to life imprisonment, another to five years of rigorous imprisonment, and confirmed death sentence in the third case.
Who is ‘Cyanide’ Mohan?
Mohan’s arrest in October 2009 had unravelled the mystery behind a series of deaths of young women in toilets, hotel rooms and lodges in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Madikeri and Hassan between 2003 and 2009. He allegedly lured the women to travel with him after winning their confidence and promising to marry them.
Mohan, who is educated till Pre-University College (PUC), joined as primary school teacher on a temporary basis in the year 1980. He quit his job in 2003 after being transferred several times.
According to police, Mohan was married three times and divorced his first wife, whom he married in 1987. When he was arrested, Kumar was living with his second and third wives at Uppala in Kasaragod district, Kerala and Deralakatte in Managaluru district, respectively.
Kumar, according to a senior police officer, allegedly lured 20 women over to leave their homes and travel with him. He would sexually abuse the women before poisoning and robbing them. All his victims were unmarried women in the 20-35 age group.
A jeweller who supplied Kumar cyanide was also arrested in 2009. “After committing a crime, Kumar would spend time with his two families at Derlakatte and Uppala. He was using the money from selling stolen ornaments to sustain himself for a few months before going for the fresh target,” the officer added.
His first brush with the law began in 2000, when he lured one Rathna to marry him. When she refused, Mohan allegedly tried to push her off the Nethravathi Bridge at Dharmasthala in Mangaluru district. He was however acquitted in the case for lack of evidence against him, the police said.
Mangaluru Police first learnt about Kumar while investigating the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman in 2009 from Barimaru village in Bantwal taluk. The woman was later found dead. While the investigation was in progress, Kumar allegedly killed another 26-year-old woman from Belthangady in September.
Police arrested Kumar after they discovered that a mobile phone used by his earlier victim was used to contact the 26-year-old woman.
Presently, Mohan is lodged in the Hindalga Central Prison in Belagavi district, North Karnataka. He was present through video conferencing when the sentence was pronounced on Thursday.