Sagar serial killer Shivprasad Dhruve held for 4 murders

Updated on Sep 03, 2022 03:41 AM IST

Between August 28 and September 1, Shivprasad Dhruve killed three people, all security guards. The police – 10 teams of 25 policemen each – have been looking for him since August 30, and even announced a reward for his capture.

Shivprasad Dhruve did not like people sleeping on the job, and expressed his displeasure by killing watchmen he found asleep. (HT Photo)
Shivprasad Dhruve did not like people sleeping on the job, and expressed his displeasure by killing watchmen he found asleep. (HT Photo)
ByAnupam Pateriya and Shruti Tomar

Bhopal/Sagar: Shivprasad Dhruve did not like people sleeping on the job, and expressed his displeasure by killing watchmen he found asleep.

Between August 28 and September 1, he killed three people, all security guards. The police – 10 teams of 25 policemen each – have been looking for him since August 30, and even announced a reward for his capture. All three killings were in Sagar (where he also injured a third guard). He was arrested at 3.30am on Friday, hours after claiming his fourth victim. The police say he has denied having a hand in the death of a guard, in Sagar, in May.

Police said Dhruve, 19, first got into trouble as a juvenile, in 2018, in Pune, where he attacked the owner of a restaurant where he worked as waiter.

He then went to Goa and waited at some restaurants there. He returned to Sagar last month after losing his job, according to Vikram Singh Kushwaha, additional superintendent of police, Sagar.

Also read: Niagaon murder: I want everyone to recognise culprits so they can be caught, says girl’s sister

On Thursday night, Dhruve came to the state capital and killed a guard he found sleeping in a marble godown in Bairagarh area.

“Police came to know about him through the surveillance of the mobile of one of his earlier victims (which Dhruve took with him). He was arrested from a bus stand in Koh-e-fiza area at around 3.30am. Just after the arrest, he said, “Ek or nipta dia (killed one more),” said Kushwaha.

The SP said Dhruve was smiling all through his questioning and claimed he did not like to see people sleeping while on work..

The back-to-back killings triggered panic in Sagar. Apart from the 10 teams, another five from the cyber cell were also tasked with tracing his location. A sketch of the suspect was released and police announced a reward of 30,000 for information leading to his arrest.

According to the police, the first murder was reported on August 28 when Kalyan Lodhi, 57, who was posted as a watchman at a garage in Bhainsa village in Sagar was killed.

“He saw Lodhi sleeping at around 1am and smashed his head in with a hammer, which he found in the factory. He took Lodhi’s mobile phone with him,” said Kushwaha.

The same night, he beat up a security guard of a hotel in army cantonment area.

“Next day, when roaming Sagar town he saw Shambhu Saran Dubey, 60, sleeping on duty at a government college at around 1.30pm. He smashed his head in with stone. He left the mobile phone of Lodhi near Dubey’s body and took Dubey’s phone with him,” Kushwaha added.

As news of his murders spread, Dhruve thought killing was a way to “get famous” according to details divulged at his interrogation. On August 31, police said, he killed Mangal Ahirwar, 45 , a watchman at an under-construction building in Sagar. Ahirwar died in a Bhopal hospital.

“After police announced reward, Dhruve left for Bhopal. He was roaming the Bairagarh area where he spotted a security guard Sonu Verma, 27, who was sleeping in a marble godown. Dhruve smashed his head with a marble slab,” a police officer said.

A security guard, Hallu Sahu, deployed at a showroom near Tehsil area in Sagar recalled that he met Dhruve twice on the night of August 30. “I was lying on a bed. He asked for a bidi, I shared it with him. He was talking normally and said “I hate those who sleep in the night”. I am alive because I was not sleeping that night,” he said.

Dhruve, youngest of four siblings, left home at 15. His mother, Sita Rani, and father, Nanheveer, live in a two-room house in Kainkra village. The family has leased 3 acre agricultural land. Dhruve’s eldest brother lives in Gujarat and his two married sisters live in nearby villages.

“He was always a problematic boy,” recalled his mother. “In class 9, he left for Maharashtra to earn money and in four years, he didn’t give any money to us.”

Sita Rani said he borrowed 2,000 from her when he returned to the village in August, and promised never to return.

Also read: Murder of 3 guards in 72 hours triggers panic in MP district, govt says police on ‘high alert’

Dhruve’s elder sister Chandrawati described him as a spoilt child.

His childhood friend, Manish Gond, said he was not like this earlier. “When he came back from Goa, he started fighting with his family. I am shocked to hear he killed so many people.”

The families of victims can’t believe that hatred of people sleeping on their jobs resulted in the murders of their dear ones.

Rahul Dubey, 28, the son of Sambhu Saran Dubey, said, “I can’t believe that my father was killed because he was sleeping. My father used to work as security guard in the college for the past six years. I am looking for a job and my father was the only earning person in the family of five.”

Mangal Ahirwar’s brother Rajesh Ahirwar said, “We want justice and the man should get capital punishment. The state government should also give compensation to our family.”

Madhya Pradesh director general of police Sudhir Saxena said the accused is mentally stable and described the killings as “cold-blooded murders”.

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