Updated: October 14, 2014 10:55:49 am
Weeks before they brutally killed three residents of Bahadurpur village near Muzaffarnagar town, the four suspects now in custody had killed the owner of a hotel on the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar highway in a similar fashion. Muzaffarnagar police believe the suspects, under the influence of drugs, would assault and rob victims late at night to feed their addiction.
Police claimed the suspects — Gulfam, Mohsin, Anis and Yunus — had confessed to at least three more robberies in the region. “In the first week of September, the four had attacked Budda, the owner of a hotel on the Muzaffarnagar-Meerut highway, and killed him after taking all his money.
While the modus operandi was not as violent as in the Bahadurpur killings, Budda had stab wounds and head injuries,” a senior police officer told The Indian Express. He added that the four worked in a scrapyard in Bilaspur, but would attack passers-by on the highway, hoping to remain anonymous.
More than a year after violent communal riots shook the region, Muzaffarnagar was on the edge last week after the mutilated bodies of three victims — Surender Kumar (38), Kunwerpal (43) and Sunder (28) — were found on the lane leading to Bahadurpur village.
“They were all users of locally available drugs. This is what seems to account for the extreme violence in their attacks. We believe the brutality increased when they assaulted the Bahadurpur residents, as the victims carried few items of value and smaller cash,”said Muzaffarnagar Senior Superintendent of Police, H N Singh.
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The suspects were allegedly addicted to sniffing a solution locally known as sulfa. “Addicts of this drug tend to get violent when they use it or are deprived of it. Addicts inhale fumes from this solution to get high. All four suspects were addicts, a fact corroborated during questioning,” another senior police officer said.
Sources in the police said that after killing Sunder, one of the suspects, Gulfam, had stolen the victim’s mobile phone and used it to make a few calls before destroying the SIM card. “Sunder’s wife told us her husband’s phone was not found and we began tracking it. This eventually led us to Gulfam in Bijnore. On further questioning Gulfam confessed to the triple murder and led us to the other suspects,” the officer said.
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