45-year-old labour Maina Ramulu was arrested by Hyderabad City Police Task Force and Rachakonda Commisseriate on Wednesday. Ramulu stands accused of murdering 18 women during a period of almost 17 years. Police allege that his crimes stemmed from resentment towards women after his wife eloped with another man.
Ramulu, a stone-cutter, would often target women near toddy compounds and lure them with promises of sex for money, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said. He would then kill them and take their valuables. One of his crimes was allegedly caught on CCTV camera, depicting Ramulu stalking and trapping a woman, Kavala Venkattamma, in a toddy compound after which her body was discovered on January 4. Venkattamma was reported missing on December 30 by her husband.
The accused is also a previous career criminal and has had 21 cases registered against him, police said. He was serving jail time for a murder conviction in 2009 before he escaped jail in 2011. He was once more arrested in 2013 but was then released in 2018.
The recent arrest was made on the basis of the two murders he stands accused of committing in December after which the Task Force began to investigate him.