A 62-year-old serial killer has recently been arrested in Baprola, India after neglecting to return to prison in Jaipur, Rajasthan, where he was serving out a life sentence in the central jail for the murder of several taxi drivers.
Dr. Devender Sharma, of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, owned his own practice in a Rajasthan hospital in the early eighties where he practiced traditional Indian medicine for over a decade. He had a Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine (BAMS), an alternative style of medicine generally found across India and South East Asia. Things seemed to be going well, but his life took a dark turn when he lost his money after investing in a scam gas company and turned to more nefarious practices to recoup his finances.
In 1994, along with a group of associates, Dr. Sharma, who began going under the alias Dr. Mukesh Khandelwal, created a fake gas company in Uttar Pradesh. He would rob the trucks that passed through, usually carrying LPG cylinders, and kill the drivers. The gang would then sell the cylinders on for a profit as well as the vehicles if they could find a buyer. If they were unable to sell the vehicles in one piece, they would strip them down for parts or sell them as scrap. Around the same time Sharma began harvesting organs as part of an illegal kidney transplant syndicate involving other doctors and various middlemen. He would make a profit of around $7000 - $9000 per kidney and admitted to the police that he performed the illegal operations around 125 times over a 10-year span between 1994 – 2004.
Sharma also targeted local Taxi and transport drivers in the area. He explained that he would order a taxi and have them drive him to an isolated area where he would kill them. Indian media outlets report that strangulation was his modus operandi.
He would take the driver’s bodies and dump them in the crocodile infested Hazara canal to ensure that they would never be recovered, just as he did with the bodies of the truck drivers. His group would then steal the vehicles and sell them whole in Kashgan or strip them down for parts to sell across state in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. The crime group would make a profit of around $300 per murder and committed the crimes between 2002 – 2004.
Devender Sharma was finally caught in the act of killing a taxi driver by police in 2004 and was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of several others. Although he believed the remains of his victims would not be recovered from the Hazara canal, police found some items belonging to two of the disgraced doctor’s victims that kicked off the initial investigation. The victims were brothers driving a taxi who met a cruel fate after picking up Sharma and his associates. The brothers were strangled to death by the gang and thrown into the canal just like those before them, however on this occasion their bodies floated down river to Gangahar where they were soon discovered and identified by their possessions. Sharma was arrested and earned the media moniker “Dr. Death”.
After serving over a decade-and-a-half behind bars he was given 20 days of parole and took the only chance he knew he would ever have to escape.
Six months later police received a tip that the 62-year-old was cohabiting with a widowed woman whom he had married almost 250 miles away in Baprola, a small village on the outskirts of Najafgarh, Southwest Delhi. The tip came in after they appealed for information on any criminals in the area.
When apprehended, Sharma admitted to police that he had no intention of returning to prison after his 20 days of parole was up and said he intended to stay off the radar and start a new life. He had no intentions of changing his ways and started up a scam soon after moving to Baprola, attempting to sell a property that didn’t belong to him.
Sharma was arrested once again and transported back to the jail where he confessed to the murders he had committed. He admitted that he was unable to recall exactly how many people he had murdered over the years telling officers he “lost count after 50”. Police suspect his bodycount could be as high as 200+. According to the officers interviewing him, he showed no remorse and they suspected that he enjoyed killing his victims.