The Psychopathic Serial Killer Raman Raghav that created terror in the city of Mumbai during the 1960’s.

In Anurag Kashyap’s just released feature film “Raman Raghav 2.0” the character played by the talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui is inspired by a real life psychopathic killer. This serial killer existed in the city of Mumbai during the 1960’s and was called Raman Raghav. Now the question to be asked is who Raman Raghav was and what exactly were his crimes?


HIS background and his modus operandi

Raman Raghav to begin with was a psychopathic killed that existed in the city of Mumbai a.k.a. City of Dreams during the 1960’s.  His crimes included mainly murder and assault. Unfortunately though not much is known about Raman’s personal history as also the reason why he committed those crimes. The only real personal information available about this man is the fact that he was born in 1929 and that he had raped his sister before brutally killing her.


The basic modus operandi of this psychopath included mainly killing pavement and hutment dwellers while they were fast asleep with a hard and a blunt object used as a weapon. So basically he liked to target victims that usually opted to sleep in the open.


When did the serial killings begin and how was “Raman Raghav” identified 

The serial killings carried out by Raman (mainly during the night) first began during the years 1965-1966 when, approximately 19 people were reported to have been attacked in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai. A total of 9 out of those 19 were apparently killed. He was also arrested by the Mumbai Police during this period on suspicion but, due to lack of evidence had to be released. It was finally in August 1968 when serial killings similar to the ones witnessed in 1965-66 once again erupted and, the involvement of Raman was confirmed by an eye witness named Krithika. That the police lead by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police Ramakant Kulkarni CID took over the investigation and launched an operation to hunt down this fearsome psychopathic serial killer.


His Arrest, Investigation, and Trial

It was a sub-inspector by the name of Alex Fialho who recognized Raman Raghav with the help of photographs available in the police records, searched him in the presence of two eye witnesses, and then eventually arrested him. It was during investigation that he first revealed his name to be Raman Raghav.  Although according to police records he in fact used a number of aliases such as “Sindhi Dalwai”, “Talwai”, “Anna”, “Thambi”, and “Veluswami”.  The arrest of Raman Raghav was made as per section 302 of the Indian Penal Code i.e. IPC with the charge being murder. On further investigations it was found that he possessed a pair of glasses, two combs, a pair of scissors, garlic, and tea powder. It was also found that the bush shirt and the khaki shorts that he was wearing were smeared with bloodstains while, his shoes was filled with mud.

Initially he refused to cooperate and did not answer any questions asked by the police. It was only after his wish to eat “chicken curry” was fulfilled by the police that he began to speak up. It was during this period that he openly confessed to have committed 41 murders. He also willingly showed the police the areas in the city he operated in. It was then at the court of the Additional Chief Presidency Magistrate that the preliminary trial of Raman first began. This case was then transferred to the Additional Sessions Court in Mumbai on 2nd June 1969.

It was during this trial in the Additional Sessions Court that the lawyer of the defence appealed to the court via an application that stated that the accused was “mentally unstable” and so was incapable of defending himself. The application further stated that the accused at the time of committing the crimes was unaware about the fact that his acts were against the law of the land due to his unstable mind. The judge of the Additional Sessions Court however found him guilty and sentenced him to death. This verdict was then challenged by the defence in the Bombay High Court. And before arriving at the final verdict the high court ordered the Surgeon General Mumbai to form a “Special Medical Board” consisting of three psychiatrists. This board was formed with the intention to determine whether the accused:

(a). Actually possessed an unstable mind and

(b). If he did whether that unstable mind could result in the accused not being able to defend himself.

The result of the examination conducted by the Surgeon General clearly stating that “He (accused) was of average intelligence and there is no organic disease to account for his mental condition”. The final verdict of this trial however was a reduction in the sentencing from death to life imprisonment due to his unstable mind.

The psychology of the man

The fact remains that the psychology of this man is shrouded in mystery. The medical examination conducted by the Special Medical Board suggesting that he exhibited “delusions of persecution and grandeur”. That included the strong belief that he represents power or Shakti. He also firmly believed that he was a 101 per cent man. Another interesting fact about this man was that even after the Police Surgeon, Mumbai had observed him for about a month and declared him a sane human with average intelligence. His sentence was reduced to life imprisonment from death on the basis that he was mentally unstable. This contradiction clearly indicating that, he either was truly mentally unstable or he just possessed his own twisted world view that became his reality.


It was eventually in 1995 that Raman Raghav died due to a kidney problem. Thereby  resulting in the closure of a chapter called “PSCYHO RAMAN” in the crime history of the “City that never sleeps” i.e. Mumbai.

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In Anurag Kashyap’s just released feature film “Raman Raghav 2.0” the character played by the talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui is inspired by a real life psychopathic killer. This serial killer existed in the city of Mumbai during the 1960’s and was called Raman Raghav. Now the question to be asked...