Tuesday was not the first time when 43-year-old Naresh Dhankar had displayed his violent streak, that left six people dead in Haryana’s Palwal.
Dhankar had allegedly once slapped a policeman and on another occasion threw a brick at his neighbour for intervening in his domestic quarrels.
But the person who allegedly bore the brunt of his ‘violent nature’ was his wife, Seema, her family members said. The physical and mental abuses began soon after Seema married Dhankar in 2007, said Seema’s sister who did not want to be named.
“Dhankar had sought voluntary retirement from the Army in 2003 because of his mental disorder. He was undergoing treatment for it too. The combination of his mental disorder and bad temper had turned him into a monster,” claimed Seema’s sister.
A native of Machgar village in Faridabad, Dhankar had bought a flat in the Omaxe City, a gated neighbourhood in Palwal. Since Dhankar is a serving sub-divisional officer (SDO) with the Haryana government’s agricultural department in Bhiwani, he would visit Palwal once every few weeks.
Dhankar’s wife and their eight-year-old son lived in the Palwal flat. “Whenever Dhankar would come home for a vacation or a visit, Seema would come and live with our parents. My sister had no choice because of his abusive behaviour,” said Seema’s sister.
A neighbour added that whenever Dhankar would return to Palwal, he would always land up outside his in-laws’ home and create a ruckus. “Dhankar would often abuse in English and sometimes breakdown and beg to be allowed to meet his son,” the neighbour said.
“He is very attached to his son and would beg to be allowed to see the boy. He would arrive with large boxes of fruit. If he was not allowed inside, he would create a ruckus. During one such ruckus six months ago, he even assaulted a neighbour with a brick for trying to intervene,” said the neighbour.
Seema said that when Dhankar visited her at her parents’ house on December 31, he was allowed to come inside. “He gifted me a suit (salwar kurta) and left in the afternoon. I could see he was troubled, but I did not know he had such murderous plans on his mind,” said Seema.
Seema’s sister said that their family had asked Dhankar to divorce her sister, but he refused. “We had complained to the police once, but had later reached a compromise,” she said.
According to a statement issued by the Haryana Police, Dhankar’s killing spree on Tuesday was during an unauthorised leave from work. They said Dhankar had been booked for assault in 2015 after he allegedly hit a policeman in Palwal.
The police were, however, unable to comment on his mental status.