Telangana serial killer arrested after 16-year-long murder spree

Telangana serial killer arrested after 16-year-long murder spree

Yousuf, who has confessed to have committed 12 murders since 2003, would use chilli powder to blind his victim, then bludgeon him to death with a heavy stone, and rob him of their jewellery, cash and mobile phones. 

His modus operandi was to identify people carrying cash and strike conversations with them posing as a painter.

He allegedly committed his first murder when he was 16. Since then, Mohammed Yousuf alias Pasha of Vikarabad, now 32, has allegedly killed as many as 12 people. It was on Wednesday that police swooped on Yousuf while investigating the murder of a school sweeper at Nawabpet Mandal in Mahbubnagar district.

Yousuf’s modus operandi was thus: He would first zero in on a person carrying cash and strike a conversation with him posing as a painter. He would then lure the person to an isolated area with the promise to show a treasure of gold coins or assuring to sell something at a low price. Once at the spot, he would use chilli powder to blind his victim, bludgeon him to death with a heavy stone, and rob him of their jewellery, cash and mobile phones.

Officials said Yousuf was a small-time seller of tamarind but did not make much money; he has two wives and would spend money on sex workers and his paramours. Three of his victims were husbands of women he had relations with. In 2017, he was arrested by Vikarabad district police in connection with a murder case but was let out on bail.

Mahabubnagar Superintendent of Police Rema Rajeshwari said that when he was in custody of Vikarabad police, he did not confess to any of the murders. On February 9 this year, the body of J Balaraj (52), a sweeper at a school in Mahabubnagar, was found in a forest area.


Police said Yousuf told Balaraj that he knew someone who was willing to sell sheep and goats at a cheap price and convinced him to accompany him with cash. He took him to an isolated spot in a forest near Nawapbet Mandal, where he attacked Balaraj with chilli powder. When the sweeper fell down, he bludgeoned him to death. Yousuf escaped with Rs 14,000 cash and Balaraj’s mobile phone.

Police had no clue about the killer for several days but kept Balaraj’s mobile phone’s IMEI number under surveillance. Yousuf switched on the phone stolen from Balaraj recently and inserted his SIM card, following which police got his location. “Initially, he confessed to three murders only— Balaraj’s and two others at Vikarabad. But under sustained interrogation he confessed to killing more people,’’ Sub-Inspector Shiva Kumar of Nawabpet Police Station said.

Police said he committed his first murder in 2003 when he killed a man at Dabirpura in Hyderabad. In 2006, he murdered Gopi of Bihar on Shadnagar-Keshampet Road and in the same year, he murdered his friend, also named Gopi, husband of his paramour, near Shadnagar.

In 2009, he murdered an unknown person at Shadnagar Railway Station. In 2012, he murdered another unknown person at Shadnagar; in 2013, he killed another unknown person at Solipur near Shadnagar; in 2015, he killed Narasimha, husband of his paramour at Jadcherla; in 2017 he murdered an unknown person, a farmer named Bujji in forest area of Vikarabad; in May 2018, he murdered Dinesh of Chithapur, Karnataka at Rajapur near Mahabubnagar. In August last year, he murdered Mangali Balaraj near Ranga Reddy. He was also involved in the theft of three motorcycles and one house robbery case.

Yousuf was arrested from his residence at Chowdapur village of Kulkacherla Mandal of Vikarabad district and the police recovered four motorcycles, three mobile phones, and Rs 2,500 cash from his possession.