A former serviceman allegedly killed six people with an iron rod at Haryana’s Palwal township in the wee hours of Tuesday. Naresh Kumar, believed to be mentally ill, has been taken into custody.
The accused, identified as Naresh (45), went on a rampage between 2 to 4 am in a 2 km stretch between Agra Chowk and Camp Colony. A resident of Macchgar near Ballabhgarh, Naresh, after retiring from the Army on voluntary grounds, was working with the Agriculture Department as a CDO, a police spokesperson said.
Palwal's Superintendent of Police, Sulochana Gajraj, said, "He appears to be mentally weak and attacked whoever he crossed in the streets. An ID recovered from him suggests he is ex-Army but further probe into the matter is being conducted." Gajraj suggested that Naresh's victims were chosen at random, saying he "attacked whoever he came across on the streets".
The police also said that when they reached the spot to arrest Dhankhar, he resisted and assaulted the police personnel, before being eventually overpowered.
The killing spree began at a private hospital, where Naresh allegedly attacked one of the attendants. "We were alerted to the murder around 2:30 am. Upon reaching the hospital, we found a body lying outside,” said Ashwani Kumar, Palwal police station in-charge.
Even as police shifted the body to the mortuary, they were informed of a woman attendant’s murder. By the time they located Naresh with the help of footage sourced from CCTV cameras in the area, he had allegedly notched six victims. They were identified as Anjum from Hathin; Munshi Ram, Sita Ram and Khem Chand from Palwal; Subhash from Firozabad; and a mentally ill person whose credentials were not disclosed.
Dhankad, after his arrest, was taken to the civil hospital from where doctors referred him to Faridabad. His psychological evaluation would be carried out.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Abhimanyu Lohan said prima facie it seemed that he carried out the killings without a reason. High alert has been issued in the city, the police spokesperson said.
Naresh, who hails from Machgar village in Faridabad, was residing at Omaxe City – a private residential colony – in Palwal township. He was employed with the irrigation department.
"The accused did not seem mentally fit, and – if rumours are to be believed – was not on good terms with his family,” said Neterpal Adhana, a resident of Omaxe City. "We find it shocking that somebody in our midst could go on such a ghastly killing spree.”