When DCP (Outer Delhi) Vikramjit Singh set out to investigate the case of a missing six-year-old, little did he know he would end up arresting a serial child rapist and murderer, who would confess to having committed 15 such acts since 2009.
In a grim reminder of the 2006 Nithari serial killings, Ravinder Kumar, a bus cleaner, confessed to luring children with candy, raping them and then killing them, the police said.
With his confession, cops claimed to have solved at least five child rape and murder cases in the city, and registered a case against him in the latest murder -- that of the missing six-year-old girl. They also said they had alerted their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana about possible cases there.
Kumar’s “inspiration” came from a film called Maa where an actor was shown raping and murdering children, he is said to have told interrogators. A few months later, Kumar preyed on his first victim -- a boy he sodomised and strangled. Over the next five years, he spread his reign of terror to UP and Haryana.
The resident of outer Delhi’s Karala village was arrested last year too on charges of child rape and attempted murder but was released on bail. Unfazed, he struck again, killing the six-year-old girl in the Begumpur area on July 14 (Tuesday), the police said.
He would have escaped justice this time too but was undone by a mistake -- he dropped a driving licence he had stolen from a friend at the crime scene.
According to DCP Singh, the events leading to Kumar’s arrest on Thursday began two days ago with the filing of a missing persons’ report for the child. “A search led us to the body of the minor in a semi-constructed house, 50 meters from her home, that day itself. We searched the house and found some papers and a driving licence on the second floor.
The licence belonged to one Sunny,” he said.
The police tracked down Sunny -- to a hospital. He claimed to have been beaten by his friend Ravinder Kumar, his brother Sunil and a juvenile on July 14 and robbed of his bike, mobile phone and wallet, which contained his licence.
“Sunny’s mother had also made a PCR call that her son had been robbed and beaten by his friends,” Singh said.
A background check on the four revealed Kumar’s arrest in the rape and attempted murder case.
“We immediately formed several teams and managed to trace him,” said Singh.
Kumar reportedly broke down during interrogation and confessed to the rape and murder of 15 children in several places, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, since 2009.
Kumar picked his early victims from places he would visit with his father, a plumber, for work, he is said to have told his interrogators.
“We are verifying his role in several other cases,” DCP Singh said, adding that Kumar’s involvement was also suspected in some crimes committed in 2010 that he claimed not to remember.
The case comes to a light a day after a report compiled by PricewaterCoopers India and the NGO Save the Children warned of an alarming rise in crimes against children in Delhi and Mumbai. According to the report, there was a 24% increase in such crimes between 2010 and 2011 and a further 52.5% rise from 2012 to 2013.