A Mangaluru court on Thursday sentenced infamous serial killer 'Cyanide' Mohan Kumar for the rape and murder of an Anganwadi worker from Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district in 2005.
The death penalty was handed down by VI Additional District and Sessions Judge Sayeedunnisa, who convicted Kumar for raping and murdering the woman at the Kempegowda bus station in Bengaluru.
Here are more details.
Kumar encountered victim at BC Road stand in August 2005
According to the Deccan Herald, Kumar introduced himself as 'Anand' to the Anganwadi worker near BC Road bus stand on August 21, 2005.
He promised to marry her and they went to Bengaluru the next morning where he raped her in a lodge.
He then gave her cyanide tablets, claiming they were contraceptives, killing her. He returned to Mangaluru after stealing her gold jewelry.
Currently in jail, Kumar attended hearing through video conference
The case was only linked to Kumar after his arrest in October 2009 (in another case).
Around 41 witnesses and 67 documents were presented in court, the Deccan Herald reported adding that a president of Anganwadi association also identified Kumar during the identification parade.
Kumar, who is currently lodged in Hindalga Central Prison in Belagavi, was present during the Thursday hearing through video conferencing.
Court found Kumar guilty; sentenced him to death by hanging
Reportedly, the judge court sentenced Kumar to death by hanging.
He was also sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a Rs. 5,000 fine for abduction, seven years imprisonment and a Rs. 5,000 fine for rape, 10 years for poisoning, five years for robbery, 10 years for voluntary causing hurt in committing robbery, one year for cheating and seven years for destroying evidence.
Death sentence to be executed after Karnataka HC's confirmation
Further, the court directed the Karnataka government to compensate the victim's sister through the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA). The death sentence will only be executed after the Karnataka High Court confirms it. All the aforementioned sentences will run concurrently after the confirmation.
Kumar stood trial in 17 cases
Reportedly, this is the 17th case in which Kumar stood trial and the fourth case where he was awarded the death sentence.
In the past three death sentences, the Karnataka HC had reduced one to life imprisonment and another to five years of rigorous imprisonment.
The HC confirmed a third death sentence.
Currently, three other rape and murder cases against Kumar are under trial.
Who is 'Cyanide' Mohan Kumar?
Notably, Kumar earned the moniker 'Cyanide' due to the modus operandi he followed for his kills.
The police suspect that he committed 32 murders and all his victims were women aged 20-35.
Kumar would lure women with the promise of marriage, rape them, and give them pills laced with cyanide.
He would tell the victims that the pills are contraceptives.
Several women were found dead in toilets, hotel rooms, lodges
Reportedly, Kumar would tell the women to take the pills inside restrooms as they would "make them sick." What followed was a string of mysterious deaths of young women inside toilets, hotel rooms and lodges in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Madikeri and Hassan between 2003-2009.
Kumar was finally arrested in October 2009
Earlier, the police failed to link these mysterious deaths.
However, Kumar first showed up in Mangaluru Police's radar as they investigated the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman from Barimaru village, Bantwal, in 2009 who was later found dead.
During the investigation, another 26-year-old woman Belthangady died in September.
A mobile linked to both cases led the police to Kumar. He was arrested in October.