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‘Stone man’ claims 6th victim in Guwahati
Published on 15 Feb. 2009 12:47 AM IST
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Police in Assam are in a quandary with a mysterious “stone man” claiming his sixth victim - a pavement dweller - in less than two months in the state’s main city of Guwahati, officials said Saturday. Even as a thriller based on the unsolved serial killings of pavement dwellers in Mumbai in 1983 hit the screens Friday, the police recovered a badly battered body of a young beggar from outside a Hindu temple in Guwahati. “The victim, a pavement dweller or could be a beggar, was hit on the back of the head with a blunt object and he died of profuse bleeding,” said Debajit Deuri, additional police chief of Guwahati. The modus operandi is almost the same — the mysterious attacker targets the victim before dawn, bludgeoning him to death by hitting him with a stone like object on the back of the head and the ears. “The pattern is similar, with the attacker targeting his victim sleeping on pavements or in the open either alone or with one or maximum two more people,” a Crime Branch detective said. “We picked up few people on suspicion during night raids but we are yet to get any conclusive leads in nabbing the serial killer who probably uses stones or some blunt implement for the attack,” another police investigator said. Police are looking into various angles, including the possibility of the serial killings inspired by superstitious beliefs. “There are several theories doing the rounds, including some saying that superstition could be a reason that was driving the serial killer to commit the murders silently,” the Crime Branch official said. Experts are not ruling out the possibility of the murders being committed by a psychopathic killer. “It is very difficult to pinpoint the reasons, but then definitely there is some criminal propensity with the attacker probably suffering from some mental disorder and extremely paranoid about being killed by beggars or pavement dwellers and hence going about finishing them off,” said Jayanta Das, a well-known psychiatrist.

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