Gurgaon police have arrested five members of a gang of alleged serial killers who targeted people seeking lifts at night. The men would offer a free ride to a person who looked like an outsider, strangle him, steal his cash and valuables, and then dump his body in a manhole or an open drain.
The arrested men, aged between 18 and 28, have confessed to having killed 26 people since January. Gurgaon Senior Superintendent of Police Hanif Qureshi said, "In October alone, the gang killed 11 people."
The five have been identified as Rohtash alias Langoor, Lalit alias Kaloo, Mukesh alias Ghassar, Pramod alias Bhuria and Ravi.
They are all from Bhora Kala village in Gurgaon.
Qureshi said police got a lead while investigating the murder of Ashish Bhagoria, a 23-year-old MBA from Gwalior whose decomposed body was found in a manhole in Gurgaon on October 29.
Before he went missing, Bhagoria had called up Rohit, a friend of his. "Rohit was waiting for Bhagoria at IFFCO Chowk," said Qureshi. "Around 11.35 pm, Bhagoria phoned him to say he had got into a cab and was on his way. This was Bhagoria's last phone call. We zeroed in on all the 'maxi cabs' in the area and found this gang. On interrogation, they confessed to having committed the crime."
They also confessed to other murders, including that a man who had only Rs 20 on him. His body was found on National Highway 8 near Shikohpur last month.
Qureshi explained the modus operandi of the killers, who owned a jeep. "During the day, they ran a cab service but at night, from 10 pm to 2 am, they would take their jeep around the city, one of them driving, and the rest posing as passengers," he said. "They would offer a lift to a single passenger. Once the victim was inside the car, one of the men would strangle him, usually with a leather belt. They would then take the victim's money and valuables, and dump the body."
Qureshi said the gang may have committed more murders. "We have contacted the police in neighbouring states to find out if similar crimes have been reported there," he said.