The Inside Story

Classification: Serial killer?
Characteristics: "I was overpowered by a strange urge to kill my prey"
Number of victims: 1 - 22
Date of murders: 2000 - 2004
Date of arrest: December 2004
Date of birth: 1947
Victims profile: Elderly and middle-aged men
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Fursatganj, Uttar Pradesh, India
Status: Unknown

Accused of being a serial killer
By Sutapa Mukerjee - BBC News

December 20, 2004

Residents of Fursatganj, a small town in northern India and scene of a string of mystery killings of middle-aged men, are wondering whether they can now sleep easy.

This follows the recent arrest of 57-year-old Sadashiv Sahu, a local cloth merchant, who has confessed to killing 22 men living in this town in the state of Uttar Pradesh over the past four years.

The police say he committed his first killing in April 2002. He allegedly claimed his last victim, a 60-year-old man, in November.

The police says that Mr Sahu has admitted to the serial killings of men, who were all over 45 years old, in an eight-page-long confession.

'Strange urge'

"I don't know what came over me. I was overpowered by a strange urge to kill my prey," he says in his confession.

Mr Sahu also says that after committing the murders he would return home and have a "very peaceful sleep".

A senior local police official, BP Srivastava, told the BBC that the suspect used to "hunt" for unwary middle-aged men after dusk.

"He adopted similar methods in carrying out the killings. He would shoot his victims with the gun pressed against their chests to muffle the noise", he said.

"There have been no murders in Fursatganj area after the arrest. We will be filing a charge sheet before the first week of February," senior local police official, Sanjay Srivastava said.

Neighbours of the frail and diminutive businessman say Mr Sahu never had posed any problems.

"He barely spoke to anyone. Whenever he was free we would see him deeply engrossed in reading holy books," says Shiv Singh, a local chemist who has known him for a long time.


But others like Balmati Devi, whose husband was shot dead in June, are seething with anger against Sahu.

"My husband had no enemies. Please go and ask the heartless man why he chose my husband and left me alone to fend for our six children," she says.

When I met Mr Sahu at the local police station recently, he admitted to the killing of the 60 - year - old man in November, but denied he was responsible for the other killings.

"All I want you to do is help me get hold of a good lawyer," he said.

Some villagers are still sceptical about the police claim that he was responsible for all the killings.

"There is no reason for us to feel relieved as yet. If things remain peaceful for another six months, we will know that the real culprit has been arrested," says Brijesh Singh, whose 60-year-old cousin was killed three years ago.

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