Jaggu Pehelwan, whose gang allegedly terrorised northern India and targeted businessmen and politicians in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, was arrested in a raid by police in Ghaziabad, a satellite town of the Indian capital, following a tip-off.
During interrogation he told detectives he had murdered "around 100" people and had been paid between £13,000 and £39,000 per contract, "depending on the profile of the target," Superintendent Raghubir Lal told the Daily Telegraph.
He was arrested along with two of his alleged hitmen after police had announced an award of around 7,000 pounds.
"He said he had collected 1.25 crores of rupees [£178,000] for killing 24 persons. We are checking his claims to see if they match the reality," he said.
At the time of his arrest he was "planning to finish off four persons from this district and another 22 in Harayana. He is a dreaded criminal and he would have done these crimes," he added. One of his targets was Aulad Ali, the Ghaziabad district president of the Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh state's main opposition party, he added.
Following his arrest, detectives discovered two getwaway cars, a Beretta pistol, fake police uniforms, ID and mobile phone SIM cards.
His alleged killing spree began in 1998 with the murder of a businessman and hotel owner in New Delhi. He later killed Sanjay Valmiki, a political leader from his village, where his wife is now the village chief. She was elected unopposed amid fears that anyone contesting the position would be shot dead.
Police in Uttar Pradesh will now meet with senior officers in Delhi and Haryana to make a new charge list.
Superintendent Lal said business and political rivalries in the state were so intense that people "want to finish off their enemies.They get in touch with Pehelwan and pay him so money. He is notorious," he said.