Accused migrant worker sentenced to death for killing 9

Warangal well horror: Accused migrant worker sentenced to death for killing nine

The culprit 24-year-old Sanjay Kumar Yadav, came to Warangal from Bihar, about six years ago

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

A court in Warangal gave the death sentence to Sanjay Kumar, a migrant worker from Bihar for killing nine others from Bihar and Bengal, including six members of a family, on 20 May night.

Kumar had mixed sleeping tablets in their dinner. And then dragged the deep asleep men, women and a toddler, one by one, to a well in the industrial unit compound they were working, residing and threw them in the water. The ghastly act was to cover his earlier crime of killing a woman of the family he was in a relationship with.

The revelation of nine bodies in the huge, dilapidated well in the gunny bag company's premises at Gorrekunta village near Warangal town had shocked the Telangana public.

The deaths of migrants during the Covid-19 lockdown and the workers’ travel travails nationwide led to initial beliefs that it might be a case of suicides driven by economic distress.

Six of the dead are of Md Maqsood family, who settled in Telangana over two decades back, migrating from West Bengal. The deceased are Maqsood (50), his wife Nisha (45), two sons – Shabaz (21), Sohail (18), daughter Bushra (22) and her three-year-old son.

Two others – Sriram (21) and Shyam (22) – are from Bihar, also working and living in the same compound, while Shakeel (30) said to be a family friend of Maqsood, lives nearby.

Several special teams were constituted and the case was cracked within three days, with the help of call records and CCTV footage. The charge sheet was filed within a month of the chilling murders.

On Wednesday, the death sentence was awarded by a district court in Warangal. Police teams involved in the probe and trial of the case celebrated the outcome by sharing sweets.

The details of the murders, as revealed by the police in May, are that “Sanjay was living together with Rafiqa (36), who is the daughter of Nisha’s elder sister.”

“Rafiqa, promised by Sanjay to marry her, confronted him when she noticed him being close with her teenage daughter. As she even warned him to file a police complaint, Sanjay decided to eliminate her. On pretext of talking to their elders back home regarding their wedding, Sanjay took her in the Garib Rath train towards Vizag on March 6.”

“Sanjay mixed sleeping tablets in buttermilk Rafiqa consumed and when she was unconscious pushed her out of the running train near Nidavadolu in Andhra Pradesh, killing her and returned to Warrangal. A case was registered by the railway police then.”

“Later, Nisha enquired about Rafiqa and suspecting of some wrongdoing by Sanjay threatened to file a police complaint. That is when Sanjay decided to kill the Maqsood family. He went on recce at the unit for five days and chose the birthday of Maqsood’s son Shabaz on May 20 to execute his plan. He mixed sleeping tablets in their dinner. And when they were deep asleep, from 12:30 AM to 5 AM, he dragged each of them on a gunny bag to the well and threw them in the water,” police officials said.

“Fearing that the Bihari youth might reveal his deed, Sanjay also killed them.”