FARIDABAD: A former Indian Army personnel, believed to be mentally unstable, allegedly bludgeoned six people to death with an iron rod in Haryana’s Palwal town early on Tuesday, police said.
The accused, identified as 45-year-old Naresh Dhankhad, went on a rampage between 2am to 4am in a 2km stretch between Agra Chowk and Camp Colony in the town. He has been arrested.
Police said that the killing spree began at a private hospital, where Dhankhad allegedly attacked one of the attendants and the killing was recorded on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in the area.
“We were alerted to the murder around 2:30am. Upon reaching the hospital, we found a body lying outside,” Palwal police station in-charge Ashwani Kumar said.
As the police shifted the body to the mortuary, they were informed about the murder of another attendant, a woman.
Palwal superintendent of police Sulochna Kumari said as soon as the police received information, they started sending people, who were either sleeping or working outside, indoors.
Kumari said after the day broke, police personnel located the accused and were attacked by Dhankhad when they attempted to nab him. The injured police personnel have been sent to Faridabad for treatment, she said.
The people allegedly killed by Dhankhad have been identified as Anjum from Hathin, Munshi Ram, Sita Ram and Khem Chand from Palwal, Subhash from Firozabad, and a mentally ill person whose credentials were not disclosed.
He did not attempt to loot anyone and the people he targeted were security guards, beggars or the poor, Kumari said.
Dhankhad, who also suffered injuries, was taken to the civil hospital and then to BK Hospital in Faridabad.
“He is still unconscious, and we are conducting a CT scan on him,” Sukhbir Singh, principal medical officer of the institution, said.
His psychological evaluation would be carried out.
Deputy superintendent of police Abhimanyu Lohan said prima facie it seemed that he carried out the killings without a reason.
Dhankhad, who hails from Machgar village in Faridabad, was employed with the irrigation department after retiring from the army on medical grounds, a police spokesperson said.
He was living in Omaxe City – a private residential colony – in Palwal township.
“The accused did not seem mentally fit and, if rumours are to be believed, was not on good terms with his family,” Neterpal Adhana, a resident of Omaxe City, said.
“We find it shocking that somebody in our midst could go on such a ghastly killing spree,” Adhana added.
Inspector general of police (Rewari range) CS Rao visited Palwal town to take stock of the situation.
A high alert has been issued in the town, a police spokesperson said.
(With PTI inputs)