Mentally ill ex-Army officer bludgeons six to death

Picture for representation

Updated : Jan 2 16:30 IST

Palwal (Haryana), Jan 2  A 37-year-old former Army officer on Tuesday bludgeoned six persons, including two women, to death in just two hours in Haryana’s Palwal district, police said. The accused has been arrested.

Naresh Dhankar, a former Army Lieutenant who took voluntary retirement on medical grounds in 2003, was arrested from Adarsh Nagar here, Inspector General of Police (Rewari Range) C.S. Rao told the media.

The horrific crime took place within 100 metres of a police station early on Tuesday and was recorded on CCTV camera, leading to his arrest.

Armed with an iron rod, Dhankar was seen on CCTV entering a government hospital, some 80 km from New Delhi.

He first murdered a private security guard by hitting him on his head with an iron rod near the hospital, Rao said.

Around 2.30 a.m., dressed in a blue sweater and white trousers, Dhankar moved through the hospital corridor.

His second victim was a 35-year-old woman who had come to attend on a relative. She was found stretched out outside the Intensive Care Unit on the first floor of the hospital.

The next four murders took place in rapid succession — the victims were security guards and beggars and a woman. All of them were found dead outside the hospital.

The accused also injured two policemen from a team that tried to arrest him.

Dhankar received a head injury when he was arrested. He might have been injured in a counter-attack by one of the deceased in self defence, the police said.

“He was not a psycho killer but has a criminal record,” Rao said, adding that he used to frequently quarrel with his family members and neighbours.

The man was first admitted to the Palwal Hospital and then shifted to Badshah Khan Hospital in Faridabad.

“He was again shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital as his condition deteriorated following a brain haemorrhage,” a senior doctor said.

“The motive behind the killings could not be ascertained immediately as the statement of the accused is yet to be recorded. Dhankar is unconscious,” said a senior police officer.