77-yr-old ‘murderer-turned-saint’ held from Rishikesh 27 years after crime

The 77-year-old confessed to the crime, to escape cops, he had disguised himself as a saint and was wandering in religious sites across the country.
77-yr-old ‘murderer-turned-saint’ held
from Rishikesh 27 years after crime

NEW DELHI: On the run for over 27 years, the escapades of a murderer-turned-saint finally came to an end on the banks of the Ganga after Delhi Police sleuths apprehended the 77-year-old accused at a ‘ghat’ in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

The incident dates back to 1997 when a man identified as Kishan Lal was killed by his brother-in-law Tillu and one Ramu in Tughlakabad extension in Delhi. Both Tillu and Ramu escaped the scene and were absconding. A local court had later declared them as proclaimed offenders. The case went cold.

Recently, the Election Commission issued directions to authorities to trace wanted and absconding accused and parole jumpers in heinous cases in the wake of Lok Sabha elections.

A team of Crime Branch was formed and tasked to gather intelligence on such offenders. Then came a tip-off. The name of a proclaimed offender absconding for 27 years in a murder case, Tillu, resurfaced from the reaches of amnesia.

The intelligence on Tillu was further developed and after technical analysis, the cops zeroed in on a mobile number, which had no permanent location, and frequently moved between places. Besides, the mobile phone was switched off most of the time.

“As per location history, it was revealed that the users of the above mobile number was mostly near religious places in Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The suspect had become a saint and used to visit temples and stay in different dharamshalas across the country,” DCP (Crime Branch) Amit Goel said.

He said, in 2023, the movement of the accused was traced in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, but he could not be apprehended as he had moved to Jagan Nath Dham in Puri, Odisha. This time the police were able to trace his current location to Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

A team was immediately dispatched. Yet, it was a tough ask to identify the accused, as there were no pictures of him in the police records since 1977.

The cops conducted field recce in Rishikesh near his last haunted locations; disguising themselves and voluntarily serving in ‘bhandaras’ near places of worship in the temple town. “After working as volunteers for three days, the team identified the proclaimed offender Tillu near Ghat no. 3, Geeta Bhawan, Rishikesh from where he was nabbed,” the DCP said.

On interrogation, the 77-year-old confessed to the crime, saying, to escape cops, he disguised himself as a saint and wandered in religious sites across the country. He, along with his family, changed their identities and he got himself an Aadhar card under the name, Ramdas.

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