An ayurvedic doctor who allegedly murdered over 50 people across Delhi and neighbouring states was arrested in the national capital on Wednesday, the police said. The doctor had been hiding in Baprola on the oukskirts of Delhi after jumping parole in January.
The police said he could have been involved in over 100 murder cases, but an exact number is yet to be worked out as several cases have been filed against him in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Devender Sharma, 62, a Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, is a resident of Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh. The police said Sharma was convicted in several cases of kidnapping and murder. He was arrested twice earlier for running a fake gas agency in Uttar Pradesh and was also jailed for running a kidney racket in different states.
"Sharma was serving life sentence in Central Jail, Jaipur in a murder case and was out on parole for 20 days in January this year after spending 16 years in jail. But he jumped parole and stayed at his village for a while before moving to Delhi in early March," a police officer said.
"Earlier, he was living at the house of an acquaintance in Delhi's Mohan Garden and later moved to Baprola, where he married a widow. Our team arrested him after we received information about his hideout on Tuesday," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Paweriya said.
Sharma came to Delhi with the intention of starting afresh and married his distant relative who knew about his criminal background, the police officer said. He began a property business and was currently mediating the sale of Marshal House in Connaught Place to a property dealer in Jaipur, the police said.
His interrogation that started on Tuesday went on till morning the next day. The police said he remained calm and cooperated with the team, disclosing details about his involvement in several cases.
During interrogation, he admitted to being the mastermind behind over 50 murders, the police said. He was arrested for several murder cases between 2002 and 2004, but was convicted in only seven cases. His wife and children left him in 2004 after they came to know about his criminal activities, the police officer said.
Sharma told the police that he lost count after 50 murders and it became difficult for him to remember the exact number of the killings.
After receiving his Bachelor degree from Siwan in Bihar, he started a clinic in 1984 in Jaipur. In 1992, he invested Rs 11 lakh in a gas dealership scheme but was cheated and suffered a financial crisis. In 1995, he started a fake gas agency at Chhara village in Aligarh and later got involved in criminal activities, the police said.
In 1994, Sharma got involved in an interstate kidney transplant racket operating in Jaipur, Ballabhgarh, Gurgaon and other places. He and several other doctors were arrested in 2004 in the Gurgaon kidney racket case, the officer said.
From 1994 to 2004, he claimed to have carried out more than 125 illegal kidney transplants for which he got Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per case, the police said.
In 2001, he once again started a fake gas agency at Amroha but was arrested again.
After this fake gas agency shut down, he went to Jaipur and ran a clinic there till 2003. During this period, he got in touch with his accomplices who used to hire taxis to Aligarh and then killed the drivers at secluded places and dumped their bodies in crocodile infested waters in Hazara canal, Kashganj.
"His accomplices robbed trucks carrying LPG cylinders by killing the driver. They unloaded the trucks in his fake gas agency and then the robbed truck would be dismantled in Meerut," the police officer said.
In some cases, he sold the robbed taxi to customers at Kashganj and earned Rs 20,000-25,000 from such sale. The Jaipur police have been informed about the arrest and the accused will be handed over to them, the Delhi Police said.