A 45-year-old man, who allegedly murdered five unemployed men in the last nine years after luring them into a job trap for money – was arrested from Shivpuri district on Saturday.
A native of Khaniyadhana area of Shivpuri district, living in Gudi Guda area of Gwalior district, the man -- identified as Banmali Joshi -- moved from house to house dressed as a sadhu (saint) begging for alms.
After selecting vulnerable targets, Joshi charged between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 from unemployed men who were in a dire need of a job.
He then took each victim to a desolate place and stoned them to death, Shivpuri additional superintendent of police Kamal Maurya said on Sunday.
He first murdered Mulayam Palin of Mungaoli area in Ashok Nagar district in 2007.
A year later, he murdered another jobless man Suraj Jatav in Khaniyadhana area of Shivpuri district.
Was sentenced to life in 2009 but released on bail in 2015
Joshi was convicted in the 2008 killing and sentenced to life by a Shivpuri court in 2009.
However, in 2015, he was released on bail granted by the MP High Court. After coming out of jail, Joshi started living in Gudi Guda area of Gwalior.
“He again started murdering unemployed men,” Maurya said. He murdered Buddu Kewat in Datia district on December 23, 2015.
In January this year, Joshi stoned to death an unidentified youth near Navli dam in Shivpuri district after taking Rs 5,000 from him. On January 31, Joshi also lured jobless Jeevanlal Kewat into the trap and after getting the desired sum, he killed the man near the Shivpuri railway station, said Maurya.
With the police being unable to crack the 2015-16 blind killings, Rs 10,000 reward was placed on the arrest of the unidentified accused.
After investigations, the police finally arrested Joshi on Saturday.
“Till now, he has admitted to killing the five men between 2007 and January, 2016. His grilling might lead to cracking of some other blind killings,” Maurya said.