The Telangana police on Monday said that they cracked the sensational death of nine people whose bodies were found in a well near Warangal last week and said that it was a cold-blooded murder allegedly carried out by a 24-year-old man to cover up the recent killing of a woman by him.
The man, Sanjay Kumar Yadav, was arrested on Monday following investigations by six special teams. He allegedly confessed to the crime, police claimed, three days after bodies of the nine, including six members of a family, were fished out from the well at Gorrekunta village.
The murders were carried out to cover up the killing of a woman related to the family by the accused earlier, Warangal Police Commissioner V Ravinder told reporters.
"To cover up one murder, he committed nine murders," the official said, adding that the police would ensure that he got maximum punishment.
Yadav, a native of Bihar who had been here for the last six years, had mixed sleeping pills in the food taken by the nine, and after they fell unconscious dragged each of them and threw them into the well, located in the premises of a gunny bag manufacturing unit, police said.
Bodies of the head of the family, 48-year-old Maqsood from West Bengal who had migrated here over 20 years ago, his wife, daughter and three-year old grandson were retrieved from the well on Thursday.
A day later, the bodies of Maqsood's two sons, a friend, and two other men employed in the unit were fished out from the well, sending shock waves in the area.
Initially, mystery shrouded the deaths as police did not find any external injuries on the bodies but later forensic experts said there were some scratch marks and ruled out the suicide angle.
Investigations and CCTV footage led police to Yadav who told them that he murdered the nine as Maqsood's wife threatened to complain to the police about her missing niece, whom he had killed on March 6 this year.
The police said that under the pretext of visiting her family in West Bengal for marriage talks, Yadav took the woman in a train earlier this year, gave her buttermilk mixed with sleeping pills, strangulated and threw her out of the train.
Later, he had returned to Telangana and told the women's children that she had gone to her relative's house in West Bengal.
However, Maqsood's wife did not believe it and threatened to complain to the police. Fearing that he might be caught, he planned to eliminate the couple.
After coming to know that May 20 was the birthday of one of Maqsood's sons, he reached their place on that day and chatted with them for a long time, police said.
Then, he mixed sleeping pills in the food which was later eaten by the family members and the three others. When all were fast asleep, he dragged them one by one to the well located nearby and threw them into it between 12.30 am and 5 am.
After confirming that all of them drowned, he took their cell phones and left for his home.