The Telangana police on Wednesday arrested a serial killer who was allegedly involved in 12 murders in the last 16 years. The accused, identified as 32-year-old Yousuf, is a native of Chokkampet village in Mahabubnagar district's Rajapur mandal.
The police said that Yousuf was caught by the police multiple times in different areas over the course of the last decade for theft, burglaries and even murder, but they were unaware that he was an alleged serial killer.
Speaking to TNM, Mahabubnagar Rural CI Kishan said, "He hailed from a relatively poor family and had no education. He dropped out of school at an early age. At the age of 16 in 2003, he committed his first crime when he killed a rickshaw puller in Hyderabad's Dabeepura area.”
According to Kishan, Yousuf admitted that he had an affair with the man’s wife, who stays in the village where Yousuf hails from — Chokkampet.
“He stayed with the couple in Dabeerpura after the woman claimed that he was a relative and had come to Hyderabad looking for a job. One day, when he and the man were returning home late in the night, he grabbed hold of a stick and killed him with a blow to his head near one of the bridges on the Musi river. The woman then shifted the body to their village and claimed that he had collapsed in Hyderabad while pulling the rickshaw, and managed to cover up the crime,” CI Kishan added.
The police said that between 2004 and 2006, he continued doing small thefts in Chokkampet village and once the locals grew suspicious, he moved to Shadnagar. There he worked as a daily wage labourer, doing odd jobs, officials said.
"In 2006, he met a migrant from Bihar at a theatre and saw that he had money in his pocket. He sat next to him during the film and lured him saying that he knew a place where there was treasure and that he would take him there. Following this, he took him to an isolated spot nearby, threw chilli powder on his face and bludgeoned him to death with a large stone, before stealing money from his pocket. This was his modus operandi for several murders afterwards. He targeted people who were alone and who could potentially be carrying a lot of cash," Kishan said.
Between 2006 and 2009, the accused allegedly committed at least 4 such murders in Shadnagar, before he shifted to Rajendranagar, in the outskirts of Hyderabad. He has even been caught multiple times.
"Here, he committed a house burglary, and was caught by the local police. However, they did not know about his criminal history at the time. In 2011, he went to jail for 5 to 6 months. After coming out, he committed yet another murder near Shadnagar itself. In 2013, he confessed to murdering a man near Solipur village in Mahbubnagar district. He was again caught in 2015 in a bike theft case in Jadcherla itself within a few days of committing a murder," Kishan said, pointing out that the murder was registered as crime number 153 while the theft crime number 164, suggesting that it happened within a matter of days.
“In 2017, he and two others killed a person in Vikarabad police limits. He went to jail for that crime. He carried out two more murders including one in August last year, where he befriended a barber and and convinced him to come near a dargah in Kothur village with more than Rs 10,000 in cash and killed him there. The last crime that he was caught for took place in February this year,” Kishan narrated. In February, in his native village of Chokkampet, Yousuf allegedly trapped a man identified as Jamalpur Balaraj, saying he would provide him with sheep.
“He convinced Balaraj to come to a relative's village in a neighboring mandal with some money and killed him. A missing case was registered under the limits of Nawabpet police station. The family said that Balaraj had last spoken to Yousuf, who was absconding," Kishan added.
The police said that they kept track of the deceased's phone and as soon as the accused switched it on, they were able to track his location and arrest him from his relative's place.
A case has been registered under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 302 (murder) and 379 (theft) of the IPC with the Nawabpet police. Yousuf was presented in front of a local magistrate and sent to 14 days of judicial remand.