Om Prakash, also known as Pasha, was 65 years old and having a normal day. He was at home, preparing for a role in an upcoming regional Hindi film, when police from northern Haryana state came knocking on his door, accusing him of a murder committed around 30 years ago.
Om Prakash, an ex-Indian Army soldier charged with robbery and murder, had been living right under the police radar for nearly three decades. He married a local woman and had three children after settling in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh. He has worked in regional films for the past 15 years. In one of the films, he also played a police officer.
But his good fortune ran out when police apprehended the frail 65-year-old from his home in a slum in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Om Prakash began his criminal career in the mid-to-late-1980s when he stole cars and two-wheelers. He joined the Indian Army after being imprisoned and later released. After 12 years of service, he was fired for being absent from work in 1988.
On January 15, 1992, Omprakash and his aide allegedly stabbed a motorcyclist to death during a robbery attempt in Haryana’s Bhiwani. After the murder, he dropped off the radar and began a ‘new life’, surviving on odd jobs such as acting roles in regional films. According to police, he has appeared in 28 films. With no sight of him, the case was considered closed until a Special Task Force in Haryana began investigating wanted criminals in Haryana who had vanished. Om Prakash was one of the names that popped up.
The police also added him to their list of ‘most wanted’ criminals and offered a reward of 25,000 rupees ($315) for information on his whereabouts. Om Prakash, according to police, made one fatal mistake that led to his downfall: all of his new documents bore his and his father’s real names. When Om Prakash made a WhatsApp call to his brother in Panipat about two months ago, the cops got a whiff of him. The force was able to track his location after tracing his phone number.