Serial Killer Trial Gets Attention in India


Curious case of ‘Cyanide’ Mohan draws advocates

Times Of India

MANGALORE: Advocates at the fast-track court are flocking to district and session’s court premises here since Monday, a day when the court took up hearing of cases against Mohan Kumar, the teacher-turned-‘serial-killer’. Their presence stems from fact that Mohan, who is accused of alluring and murdering at least 20 women, is defending the case himself.

Harish, an advocate who deals mainly with motor vehicles cases, was an attentive listener during the second day of the proceedings at the fast-track court on Tuesday. He was there to see how a person, accused of killing 20 women, would cross the prosecution witnesses after their examination in-chief. Uday Alva, a lawyer dealing with civil matters, was there to ascertain how intelligent the alleged killer is.

However, another lawyer from Kerala, sat through the morning session waiting for his client’s turn for hearing. “A case of my client is pending before this court. If the judge takes it up in my absence, it will get adjourned to a later date,” he said. Asserting that he has no special interest in the Mohan’s case, the lawyer said: “The accused is better off hiring a lawyer rather than making suggestions in the form of admission.”

Public prosecutor Sreeshail Taranhalli says it is the first instance in his professional career where he has seen a murder accused not availing professional legal help. “Judge Linganna Gouda Jantli offered to provide him one through the District Legal Services Authority, but he refused,” Sreeshail says.

Mohan, a PUC student who did his BEd to become a teacher, has picked up a few law tips reading books on law during his period of incarceration.

Ambika, lawyer practising criminal law, said Mohan is better off seeking professional legal help. “It is a good case for prosecution,” she adds.

Special PP Cheyabba Beary said the court on the second day heard deposition of four witnesses. The hearings are likely to go up to December 8.

A little background information on Mohan Kumar;

Married three times, Mohan divorced his first wife, whom he married in 1987. He presently lives with his second and third wives at Uppala and Deralakatte respectively. His tryst with criminality started in 2000 when he lured Rathna to marry him. When she refused, Mohan tried to push her off the Nethravathi Bridge at Dharmasthala. He was however acquitted in the court for lack of sufficient evidence against him, the SP said.

IGP (western range) Gopal Hosur, who as DySP had nabbed then famous serial killer Waddara Sankappa in 1985, described Mohan Kumar as a coherent person who knew what he was doing. His target was to ‘work on’ each of his potential victims for two months, while scouting for his next victim, Hosur said. The details of Mohan’s escapades with these women have been shared with the police authorities concerned, he noted.

With no direct contact with the victim’s family, the accused was never a suspect in any of these cases, he said. Investigations have led police to a person in Puttur who supplied cyanide to the accused, the IGP said adding that this person would be treated as an abettor. His unique selling proposition with his victims was his assurance to marry them without dowry and this was probably what lured most of them to his deathly embrace.

Police seized 8 cyanide tablets, four mobile phones and jewellery belonging to Anitha. Hosur said a case of rape and murder has been taken up against Mohan Kumar at Bantwal, and all the remaining 17 cases against him would now have to be reopened and reinvestigated in light of the new evidence. The DGP Ajai Kumar Singh is likely to reward the team during his impending visit to the city over the next few days, he said.

This will be a speedy set of trials unlike many serial cases in the United States and elsewhere.

 

  1. anyone who defends himself in a court of law has a fool for a client

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