Terms like “Crime”, “Terror” etc are often synonymous with some heavy names like Osama Bin Laden, Dawood Ibrahim, El Chapo; people who have successfully created worldwide notoriety by their wide range of terror, smuggling or extortion acts. The crimes committed by them have worldwide impacts and we sense them as the pinnacle of danger, but we often miss out the criminal hiding inside our very own community. Little did Sunanda, a girl in her mid 20’s with plans of marriage and a beautiful life ahead had any idea how her life would change, or end after meeting Mohan Kumar. A school teacher from Mangalore, Mohan introduced himself as a govt. employee and lure her to a hotel room, slept with her and convince her to swallow a pill he said was for birth control. Instead, the pill contained Cyanide. Sadly, Sunanda met the same fate as more than 20 other women before, all in the age group of 20-30’s and eventually passed away.

Mohan Kumar, also known as Cyanide Mohan would lure women on the pretext of marriage, sleep with them, end their life in the same manner and vanish with all the jewellery, cash, and belongings. He successfully committed the same story with a total of 20 women and got away almost every time as he would swear total secrecy with each woman.

It was only in 2009 after the murder of Anitha that police were able to track Mohan and eventually arrest him in Bali airport where he had gone for a ‘vacation’. According to the police, Mohan tried to kill his first victim by pushing her off a bridge into the river Nethravathi in the temple town of Dharmasthala. The woman was rescued and a case of attempted murder registered, but the case fell through in a local court. Local Police also found a diary in his possession where he wrote down the names of all his ‘Targets’ and struck off the names of those in red with whom he couldn’t succeed.  Out of every 10 women, he was successful in every 2 cases.

One of the best strategy used by Mohan was that he promised a dowry-free marriage.  Since the burden of dowry is a huge problem in the almost whole of India, his victims would easily fall into the trap. A young girl, with hopes for a better life ahead, saw a handsome and well settled Mohan as the man of their dreams. Not informing their family and planning to get married only made things worse for his victims.  No one would have ever suspected a primary school teacher of ever committing such highly planned and gruesome murders.

But as they say that no Crime in ever foolproof, Mohan was eventually caught. His court case is still ongoing with very less witness and evidence, but we hope full justice is served to all those women who gave up their life, only while hoping for a better one.