Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 is running in theatres. However, do you know who was Raman Raghav? Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0, having Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing a psychopathic serial killer, is based on the life of real person with the same name.
Raman Raghav will always remain an important part of India’s criminal history however his terror story precedes his reputation.
There was a time when Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, was put to bed early. During the late 60s, people noticed some dead bodies that had started piling up in the vicinity. From the bodies of slum-dwellers to chawl residents to stray animals, anyone without a home was a prospective target.
This was Raman Raghav, who used appear in the silence of the night, and when the streets were dark. He look for anything that moves and hammer the life out of them. To him, people weren’t people, they were objects from an opposite faction. To kill them he used a regular steel rod.
No one knew who he was or where he lived. For some — he was Sindhi Dalwai, while for others Talwai.
Between 1965 to 1966, he attacked around 19 people by various makeshift weapons near the Central Railway Line. Some of them bludgeoned to death, while others survived to witness the horrific incident.
Reportedly, an eye-witness named Krithika reported the matter to the local police. However, due to lack of evidences, Raman was out on the streets again.
Though murders stopped for few days, the bodies started piling up again in 1968. And once again, the people of Bombay went into a lockdown. Rumors spread about the supernatural powers and wide city got into panic state.
Around the same time, Deputy Commissioner of Police; Ramakant Kulkarni was handed over the case. On going through the files, Ramakant was as bewildered as the rest of the police department.
He launched a city-wide search which was impractical and almost impossible. Also, they didn’t know whom they were looking for.
DCP Kulkarni then started tracking the areas of these murders and noticed a pattern. The victims were often be hacked to death close to the shadows of the jungles.
A few years earlier, it was along the Central Railway Line, close to the eastern suburbs. In 1968, it was around the northern suburbs.
His reports made him more than curious and started going through Raman’s files as he suspected Raman to be behind both series of murders.
While checking for Raman, he came through his personal belongings which consisted regular everyday items like a pair of spectacles, two combs, a pair of scissors, a stand for burning incense, soap, garlic, tea dust and two pieces of paper with some mathematical figures.
His clothes were stained in blood and his fingerprints matched the ones in police record. Finally, Raman Raghav was convicted. But that was not the end!
Weeks after he was arrested, Raman refused to answer any questions. After the interogation for weeks, finally Raman asked for Chicken curry. After some days, the police decided to give in to his request. Finishing his chicken curry, Raman invited the officers to ask him whatever they wished to ask. It took fulfilling some more of his wishes before the police got to know everything they wanted.
Raman confessed to committing 41 murders. Post his confession, he took the police force on a city-wide tour to show the places he operated in and to obtain the rod he had hid in the northern suburbs.
Raman was awarded a death sentence for his crime but his defense pleaded that Raman was mentally incapable of making conscious decisions. This led the Bombay High Court to refer Raman to a Special Medical Board of three psychiatrists.
There happened to be 5 interviews which showed ideas of reference and fixed and systematised delusions of persecution. The delusions which he experienced were as follows:
1. As per him, there were only two distinct worlds – one ‘Kanoon’ and other in which he lived.
2. An unshakable belief that people were trying to change his sex, however they were unsuccessful, as he was a Kanoon’s representative.
3. He believed that he is a power or ‘Shakti’.
4. He believed that people were trying to put homosexual temptations in his way so that he can be converted to a woman.
5. That homosexual intercourse would convert him into a woman.
6. He kept on repeating that he was “101 percent man”.
7. The government brought him to Mumbai to commit criminal acts.
8. He believed that there are three governments in the country – the Akbar Government, the British Government, and the Congress Government and that they all are trying to persecute him.
As a result, his death sentence was changed to life imprisonment. Raghav died in 1995.