Accused of Raping and Murdering 18 Women and Children, Former Cop Umesh Reddy’s Decade of Brutality Comes to an End | Latest India News
Bangalore: He often entered the homes of his victims under the pretext of asking for water. His targets were mostly women, whom he stalked for days before attacking.
This is the modus operandi adopted by Umesh Reddy, a man convicted in nine cases of rape and murder. A former police officer, he is accused of having raped and murdered at least 18 women and children.
Taking his criminal record seriously, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed Reddy’s appeal to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment after his pardon request was dismissed by the president in 2012. While rejecting the plea, a bench of judges Aravind Kumar and Pradeep Singh Yerur noted that the nature of the crimes did not deserve any leniency.
According to officers who investigated him, he was a smart criminal, who not only planned his heinous crimes, but also had tricks up his sleeve to repeatedly escape police custody. BN Nyamagouda, the police inspector who arrested Reddy, said he was a ruthless killer, who managed to escape police at least five times.
Reddy’s criminal history began after he joined the Central Armed Reserve Force (CRPF) in 1996. He was posted to Kashmir after training and after raping his commander’s daughter, he escaped from the camp. “At the time, no system was in place to check people’s backgrounds, so after escaping from the CRPF, he came to Chitradurga and became a police officer in the District Army Reserve (DAR) in November 1996. But he didn’t stay there either, because he was also caught up in a rape case there, ”Nyamegowda said.
He first attempted to rape a girl in the KEB colony in Chitradurga, but the girl sounded the alarm. A few days later, he raped and murdered a woman in the same neighborhood. He was arrested for rape in 1997. But in less than two months he escaped from prison.
“Reddy first escaped when he was transferred from Bellary Prison in March 1997. He was then arrested in July 1997 while attempting to steal women’s underwear. But he escaped within 24 hours. He was arrested by Peenya police on February 28, 1998, while trying to escape after killing another woman. But he managed to escape as he was brought to justice. It had become an embarrassment for the department, ”added the officer.
His escapes have proven fatal over the years, as he was involved in the rape and murder of at least 18 women, including five minors. “He entered their homes under the pretext of looking for drinking water or rooms to rent. He made sure the women were alone. He carried weapons which he used to threaten them. He would tie them up or wedge them before committing rape. We have cases where he had sex while the victims were unconscious or dead. He always took the inner clothes of the victims with him. He was a psychopath, ”the officer said.
Reddy was finally arrested on May 17, 2002 by Yeshwantpur police after being spotted in a saloon by a rickshaw driver. In the ensuing trial, the court made some powerful observations. In February 2009, when the verdict was read, the judge ruled that the accused, being a repeat offender, the prison sentences imposed on him in several cases had no deterrent effect on him.
Judge Bannurmath said in the verdict: “It is evident that even after sentences in the cases of theft, dacoity and rape, he did not reform; no reform can be expected from such a perverse criminal and repeat offender.
“I don’t understand why such a devil disguised as a man should be supported by society by locking him up in prison for life. It is a known fact that whenever an opportunity presents itself he tends to run away from custody and commit new heinous crimes. “The accused, being a repeat offender, the prison sentences imposed on him in several cases had no deterrent effect on him,” he observed.
According to the officers who investigated the case, the conviction is an acknowledgment of the thorough police investigation.