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Mumbai footpath murders: Accused says acted in rage after passengers forced him to get off train

The police said they scanned Gauda's movements through the CCTV cameras installed between Byculla and JJ Marg. They learnt that he had alighted a Badlapur-CST train around 7.30 pm.

Written by Sagar Rajput | Mumbai |
Updated: November 5, 2021 11:27:18 am
Mumbai news, narcotics case, narcotics case accused dies, narcotics case accused falls to death, Mumbai police, NCB, Indian expressThe Bangur Nagar police have registered a case of accidental death. (Representational image)

Days after the arrest of a 40-year-old man who was caught by the JJ Marg police for allegedly killing two pavement dwellers in south Mumbai within the span of 15 minutes, Suresh Shankar Gauda told police that he committed the offence in rage, as he was forced to get off at Byculla station after being called a drug addict by co-passengers in a local train.

Gauda was arrested for allegedly killing two unidentified persons sleeping on the pavement near Byculla fruit market and JJ Marg road near the hospital on October 23. The first person was killed at 7.50 pm in Byculla. The second killing took place at 8.05 pm, hours after which Gauda was arrested. In 2015 as well, Gauda had killed a pavement dweller, Tiger, in Kurla.

The police said they scanned Gauda’s movements through the CCTV cameras installed between Byculla and JJ Marg. They learnt that he had alighted a Badlapur-CST train around 7.30 pm.

“Gauda told us that he had a verbal altercation with co-passengers as he accidentally got into a first class compartment. The co-passengers abused him, called him a drug addict and forced him to get off at Byculla station,” said an officer.

Gauda claimed that he took out his anger at the train passengers by smashing the heads of two persons he saw sleeping on the pavements.

The police said Gauda, also a footpath dweller, loiters near Dongri and does odd jobs. The investigators have learnt that Gauda, who hails from Hassan district in Karnataka, came to Mumbai in 2000 looking for a job. He started off by driving autorickshaws.

An officer said Gauda was arrested in 2003 for robbing a passenger. “Before being arrested for killing pavement dweller Tiger in 2015, he was arrested in 2003 in a robbery case. He was subsequently released on bail,” said the officer.

Following this, Gauda became a ragpicker. He would feed himself by selling abandoned water bottles, said police. “But recently, he had started a new business of getting goat food from Panvel and Ambernath and selling the same at Mohamed Ali road,” said the officer.

On October 23, he had gone to Ambernath to get goat food. While returning, he had an altercation with the passengers in the train, who forced him to get off at Byculla. Otherwise, he planned to alight at Sandhurst Road station, as he lives on the footpath near Dongri.

Gauda was arrested on October 24 and remained in the custody of JJ Marg police till October 28, when he was remanded to judicial custody by the Mazgaon court. On Saturday, the Byculla police, which registered the first murder case, moved an application in court and took his custody. An officer said they are trying to ascertain whether he had killed more people in the past in a similar way.

A senior officer who is looking into the probe, said, “We suspect that he has (committed similar murders)… we have circulated messages with his image across Mumbai and neighbouring districts. We are trying to identify undetected cases in which people sleeping on the road were killed after a stone was smashed on their head.”

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