A 16-year-old boy has been apprehended for killing two men in as many days in west Delhi, police said Monday, claiming they cut short a killing spree the school dropout had planned.
A resident of a low-income neighbourhood in Nihal Vihar, the teenager was nabbed on Sunday, two days after the second murder, police said. A 26-year-old man, Pradeep, who helped him in one of the killings on the promise of free liquor, was also arrested.
A dream in which a holy man promised him all the wealth and fame in the world after he “sacrificed” at least 10 humans set him on the murderous path, the teenager allegedly told police.
His mother is a daily-wager and the older brother works for a scrap-dealer.
His first victim was a 25-year-old man Kanhiya who lived in the neighbourhood, Deependra Pathak, joint commissioner of police (southwestern range), said. On October 21, the boy and Pradeep offered the factory hand alcohol, took him to an isolated spot in Nihal Vihar and stabbed him.
“Within 48 hours, he killed another man. The body of Hari Ram, 40, was found with multiple stab wounds barely 500 metres from the previous crime spot,” Pathak said.
Again, the boy had offered Ram, a supervisor with a small industrial unit, liquor before killing him.
Both men were picked randomly by the teenager, who police said was addicted to drugs and liquor.
There was a gap of almost four months between the dream and the first murder. During the time, the teen paid obeisance at a Shiva shrine in Haridwar in neighbouring Uttarakhand to seek divine blessings for carrying out the holy man’s “instructions”.
“In July-August, he visited a Lord Shiva shrine as a kanwariya with Pradeep,” an investigating officer said. “Standing in front of the idol, he pledged to return only after completing his ‘task’,” the officer said. He then bought a switchblade for Rs 800 and returned to Delhi.
For the next two months, the teen, who comes from a broken home, was looking for victims to set his plan in motion, the officer said, adding he would have struck again in a day or two.
The city, like rest of the country, has seen a spike in crimes involving juveniles at a time when there is a growing demand for lowering to 16 the age at which minors can be treated as adults for heinous crimes such as murder and rape.
The maximum punishment a child in conflict with law can get is three years in a reform home.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had last week asked for rapists over 15 to be tried as adults after two teenagers were apprehended for sexually assaulting a toddler.