A man arrested in Delhi on suspicion of killing a six-year-old girl has told police that he sexually abused the corpses of a dozen children he murdered over the past seven years.
The confession of 23-year-old Ravinder Kumar, a slightly-built bus cleaner, was a grim echo of the serial killings at Nithari in 2006, officials said.
Kumar was arrested in outer Delhi’s Begumpur area on Thursday while police were looking for a missing six-year-old girl. Quoting his confessional statement, police said his behaviour matched the psychological condition known as necrophilia or sexual acts with corpses.
He apparently told police he lured children with candy, killed them if they resisted and had sex with the bodies. In all, he sexually assaulted 15 children between 2008 and 2015 in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, police said.
The 5-foot-5-inch man, who blamed alcohol and porn shown to him by his friends for his crimes, showed signs of being unstable when he briefly interacted with the media on the way to court.
"I would have continued targeting children had I not been caught. I felt bad but did it again the next time I drank. I would have asked for stringent punishment had a similar crime been committed with my child,” Kumar told a news channel.
Psychologists said he probably suffers from the unusual disorder known as necrophilia rather than paedophilia, a condition where a person feels sexually attracted towards children.
“It is difficult to generalise but people who have such behaviour usually have low self-esteem and are poor at maintaining normal adult relationships. So they satisfy their urge for power as well as sex with children or bodies. They might also have a deprived childhood,” said Dr Smita Deshpande, head of psychiatry at PGIMER, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Kumar was born into a poor family at Ganjduware village in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, in 1992. His father Brahmanand, a plumber, moved his family of six to Karala in outer Delhi in 2007 after finding it difficult to make ends meet in his hometown.
Police said Kumar committed his first crime in 2008, but it went unreported.
“It appears he suffers from sexual perversion. Kumar says he looks for a child between three and eight whenever he has the urge to have sex. Boy or girl doesn’t matter. He targeted his victims (while they were) playing alone,” a senior police officer said.
The officer said Kumar often chose children from poor and illiterate families who “don’t even know how to file a police complaint”. In some cases, the families shifted to unknown places after the crime, without reporting the incident to police out of shame and fear of retribution.
“We will take him to all places where he had committed the gruesome crimes,” said deputy commissioner of police Vikramjeet Singh.