18-yr-old School Dropout an ‘Angry Young Man’ and Loner Who Wanted to be ‘Famous’

An 18-year-old school dropout accused of killing four security guards in a span of just six days in Sagar and Bhopal cities of Madhya Pradesh was a loner and harboured unexplained “anger” since childhood, according to residents of his village. The alleged serial killer, Shivprasad Dhurve, alias Shiva and Halku, was identified from his Aadhaar card and arrested on Friday. He is a resident of Kekra village in Sagar district.

He targeted sleeping security guards and killed three of them in Sagar district and the fourth one in Bhopal, police said. The first three killings came in a space of 72 hours earlier in the week, while the fourth victim, from Bhopal, fell prey a few hours before Dhurve was arrested.

The 18-year-old has studied up to Class 8 and knows a little bit of English. He was a loner who largely kept to himself, according to his acquaintances, including Basant Mehar, deputy sarpanch of Kekra village where he grew up. According to residents of Kekra, Dhurve, whom they call Shiva, harboured “anger” since childhood, but did not provide any plausible reason for him nursing the strong negative feeling.

He is the youngest among four siblings. His elder brother works as a labourer in Pune, while both his sisters are married, they added. His father owns 1 to 1.5 acres of agricultural land from which the family ekes out a living, the villagers said.

Dhurve, who studied in a local school, would often get into fights with his fellow students and beat them up over trivial issues. He did not have friends in the village and shunned the company of others, they said.

About five years ago, Dhurve ran away from home and reached Pune city of Maharashtra where he started working in a hotel. He would visit his village once in a while from Pune, said the local villagers.

One day Dhurve had a dispute with his employer in Pune. The employer thrashed Dhurve so that he was admitted to a hospital, they said, adding after the incident he was sent to a correctional home for minors. He came back to his village and later left to work in Goa, where he learnt to understand and speak a little English.

Quoting the teenager’s mother Sitabai, the local residents said Dhurve came home for Rakshabandhan on August 11. Before leaving home, Dhurve told his family members that he is going to hog the limelight soon and become “famous”, the villagers said.

Days after the festival, he set out on a deadly mission. After cycling 55 to 60 km from his village, he reached Sagar city, where he checked into a hotel in Moti Nagar area on August 25, according to sources. On the intervening night of August 28 and 29, he ventured out and killed Kalyan Lodhi (50), a guard at a factory. He killed him with a hammer, police said.

He allegedly killed another security guard, Shambhu Narayan Dube (60), who was on duty at an arts and commerce college on the intervening night of August 29 and 30 under Civil Lines police station limits. Dube’s head was found smashed with a stone in Sagar, police said.

Dhurve is also accused of killing Mangal Ahirwar, a security guard at a house, in Moti Nagar area on the intervening night of August 30 and 31 with a stick. After that he moved his base to Bhopal, some 169 km from Sagar.

A day later, the teenager went on the prowl in the state capital. On Thursday night, he allegedly killed Sonu Verma (23), a security guard in a marble shop. He hit the security guard with a marble pillar in Khajuri area, said local police station in-charge Sandhya Mishra. The teenager was carrying mobile phones of his victims and the devices showed his location in Bhopal, Mishra said.

Cops traced him after an informer told them that someone who looked like the person they were searching for was spotted in the Koh-e-Fiza area of Bhopal, police said. Dhurve has admitted that he tried to kill a man in Pune after a dispute in the Koregaon area where he worked as a hotel waiter, a senior police official said.

The teenager told police he was booked for attempt to murder in Pune and was out on bail, he added. Police have recovered two mobile phones he pocketed after killing two security guards and also a cycle, another official said.

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