Mangalore: Cyanide Mohan pleads leniency, prosecution presses for death
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (DV)
Mangalore, Dec 19: The sentencing of Mohan Kumar (Cyanide Mohan) in three cases in which he was convicted has been postponed to Friday December 20. The fourth additional district and sessions court on Thursday December 19 heard the arguments pertaining to the quantum of punishment.
Over a span of two days, on Tuesday December 17 and Wednesday December 18, the court held him guilty of committing three murders, those of Anitha of Barimar, Leelavathi of Vamadapadav, and Sunanda of Peruvaje, Sullia, by giving them cyanide. The modus operandi was the same in all the cases. He faces charges of murdering another 17 women in the same way.
During the hearing on Thursday, Mohan Kumar, who defended his own case, gave a written plea to judge B K Naik stating that she should be shown leniency as he is from a poor family and has a wife, two children and a sick mother to look after. He said he was the only breadwinner of the family and as he has no source of income presently, he should not be levied any fine.
Special public prosecutor Cheyabba Beary who cited Supreme Court's verdict on Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab, 1980 case to press for death sentence to Mohan Kumar, said, "He (Mohan) is like a predator who hunts and feeds on its prey. The entire state is eagerly awaiting this judgement. The guilty (Mohan) considered women as a tool for enjoyment and gain, and gruesomely murdered them. He killed women as a tiger kills its prey. He has no respect for women."
He further added, "It shows that he was mentally prepared for the cold, gruesome murders. He took these women in his company, enjoyed them and administered cyanide, and also looted their gold after satisfying his lust. He even enjoyed the sight of their suffering while they died. This shows how cruel he was. He has shown no repentance after committing these ghastly and heinous crimes."
Pointing out that Mohan was a teacher by profession, Cheyabba said, "He was a teacher whose duty it is to mould young minds. He should have been a role model to society, but instead he has committed such brutal crimes. His crimes are not against a single woman but against several women, they are also crimes against the state and a vengeance against society. He has hurt the larger interest of the society, which is dangerous.
"Being aware of the notions in Indian society, he approached the girls and introduced himself as a government servant (to impress them), and took advantage of them," he added.
"Hence, due to these conditions, he shoud be shown no leniency and he is not fit to deserve it either. In spite of knowing that he had a wife, two children and a sick mother, he continuously committed crimes. Presently he is in jail so he cannot be a breadwinner for his family. Moreover, no family member has ever visited him in jail, which shows that he is not important to them," the public prosecutor said.
"He has committed 20 crimes. He is a habitual murderer and a rapist, hence he should be given death sentence," he said.
Mohan Kumar's defence
When the bench asked Mohan Kumar to respond, he said that no post-mortem report had shown the presence of cyanide.
The judge replied that the entire conviction was based on circumstantial evidence and no direct evidences were considered.
Mohan then referred to cyanide tablets found by the police in his house and claimed that they were 'planted'. "The cyanide tablets should have been packed and sealed at the spot (where they were found), but they were taken and packed somewhere else (police station)," he said.
"Cyanide is like urea and is moist, but the tablets found as evidence were dry," he said.
He moreover added that Mohammed K of Puttur who was supposed to have supplied him the cyanide had no licence to sell it, and had said before the judge that he did not supply it to Mohan. Mohammed had initially been a witness against Mohan, but he turned hostile and claimed that he had supplied no cyanide to him.
Regarding looting of gold, Mohan contended that he had not stolen gold jewellery from the deceased women, but purchased them in 1998 after taking loan from teachers' cooperative bank in Udupi.
He also claimed that the forged seals and identity cards that he used to impress his victims were all 'cooked up stories'. He pointed out that while the chargesheet was submitted to the court on January 22, 2010, the evidence of seals and id cards was given on February 2, 2010, and claimed that the police had used the time in between to plant the evidence. Mohan also said that he does not know how to forge id cards and seals, and the chargsheet did not mention who had done it.
After hearing both sides of the argument, the bench said that all circumstantial evidences pointed at Mohan's guilt. "The whole judgement was given considering the modus operandi, circumstial evidences and the reports of medical and forensic experts, and moreover, the extra-judicial confession is enough to convict the accused." The extra-judicial confession here refers to Mohan's confession before a priest in a temple where he went to atone for his crimes.
The quantum of punishment will be pronounced at 3 pm on Friday December 20.
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