iconimg Friday, March 27, 2015

Yogesh Joshi , Hindustan Times
Pune/Kolhapur, June 17, 2013
Shocked with nine murders within four months, Kolhapur residents believe that a serial killer may have stuck their city. Within the last 24 hours, a beggar was found stoned to death near the railway station while a labourer was strangled. Noticing a pattern in the murders, the police have increased patrolling in the city. The victims were either from poor economic background or destitute, with most of them not yet identified. All the killings were carried out during the wee hours around the station area.

According to the Shahupuri police, in most cases, the victims’ heads were smashed with stones or cement bricks. The police have not arrested anyone as yet. “A mentally unstable person could be behind the killings. The police are trying to catch the killer,” said home minister RR Patil.

With no one coming forward to claim the bodies, the police are finding it tougher to get clues. In an effort to catch the killer, the police have kept mannequins near the railway station, in the hope of catching the accused when he strikes.

Scared, citizens have stopped stepping out of their houses after 9pm. “The police need to act fast to quell the fear,” said Dilip Desai, an activist.