Mahanand Naik: Goan serial killers head count mounts to sixteen

Posted Jun 2, 2009 by Armstrong Vaz
Mahanand Naik is his name. But, Mah(a)-{great}-anand (joy) has certainly not brought joy and ecstasy but instead has brought gloom and miseries to many families in Goa over the last fifteen years.
Sixty yet sexy
Sixty yet sexy
He has turned to be disgrace to his parents and a source of discomfort to his wife Pooja and their one-and-half-year old girl child. The three-wheel rickshaw driver from the temple town of Ponda in the Indian state of Goa has emerged as one of the notorious serial killer in recent memory, in a state which has never seen a serial killing spree of such proportions.
He has lost track of the names of the young girls, in the age-group of 25 to 35, he had murdered from the period from 1995 to 2008. He has mentioned sixteen of them, when reports last came in, but the head count is increasing.
Mahanand took sheer thrills in conning young girls in his love trap with the false promise of marriage and then killing each of them with the long scarf (dupatta). If Jack the Ripper’s criminal exploits has had been confined to history in England, Mahanand has given India its own version. He is dubbed as a “Dupatta killer” for strangulating each of the girls with their scarfs.
The coastal state has been rocketed by shock and indignation in the way the forty-year-old went on killing young girls without raising suspicious in the community he lived and also how the police failed to pin him for the number of murder s he undertook over the last one and half decade.
But Mahaanad proved to be a more than smart killer who outfoxed many a people with his smooth talk. His modus Operandi was the same with each of the girls he has had killed so far. Earn the trust and confidence of the young girls. The first part done, he would then proceed to make a proposal to marry them.
Having played his role in striking a cupid arrow through the young girls heart he would fix a date ,on which she(the girl to be killed) would be taken to be shown to ‘his parents’.
He was following the Indian tradition, where the nuptial tie of children is approved by the parents or in their absence, by the elder members of the family. The nuptial tie had to be ratified by ‘his parents’. So the girls were requested by him to be dressed in full splendor so as to earn the approval of ‘his parents’.
In a country where wearing gold is both fashionable and a matter of prestige Mahanand asked his ‘prospective wife’ to wear all her gold ornaments to impress ‘ his parents’.
But, instead of the girls being paraded before ‘his parents’ they ended up being strangulated to death in lonely and deserted places- hillocks, railway tunnels, cashew plantations, small rivulets and water bodies in different parts of Goa.
How Mahanand convinced the girls in taking the route to lonely places instead of his original destination to his house, is a question which will be best answered by him during police investigations which are going on. Police are busy collection every day new pieces of evidence to link him to the numerous murders, after he was first arrested on a rape charge in April this year.
According to press reports, Naik has been termed as a calculated killer. He picked each of the girls he sought to murder after thoroughly studying the family background and age-group of the girl. Further police point out that he stripped the dead bodies of the victims of their clothes to make identification difficult.
He would then escape with the gold and money, leaving the bodies to rot in water or push them in the bushes.
Almost all the cases where highly decomposed bodies of the murdered girls were recovered by the police were closed as ‘unnatural death’. Most of the murder cases occurred in and around Ponda police area jurisdiction but some missing reports were lodged in other police stations in Goa. In some cases parents of the missing girls did not lodge police complains over the missing girls as they believed that lodging a report would stigmatize their family.
Elopement with a lover is considered a deplorable and degradable act in Indian society, and the missing girls parents were under the impression that their daughter has eloped with someone.
But some of the parents who lodged their complaints allege that they did not get fair justice at the hand of the police in terms of investigations, as a result he continued his killing spree.
The serial killer would have continued his killing spree had it not been a girl from his own locality, and his wife’s friend, who took the courage to complain to the police over the rape committed by Mahanand. The blackmailing calls she was continuously getting from Mahanand over the telephone proved to be his waterloo.
Once called for questioning over the over the rape charges, the murder jigsaw unfolded one by one and is still going on. The killing spree which has shocked the entire country.
People on their part are questioning whether it was part of the system failure on the part of the police or the so called lazy attitude of the police handling the cases which allowed Mahanand to get away with so many murders.
Mahanand on his part has lost track of the names of the girls he became friendly and whom he ultimately murdered, after luring them with the promise of marriage. As police continue their questioning the head count is definitely going to rise as more and families are coming forward to register missing complaints which they had earlier desisted from lodging.