A decade after stalking beggars in Kolkata, the slayer Stoneman has resurfaced – this time in Guwahati.
At least four beggars and pavement dwellers have died in mysterious nocturnal attacks since the first week of January. Two more are in hospital battling death.
The city police believe a psychopath is on the loose, smashing the skulls of pavement dwellers with a heavy stone or brick. They are, however, not sure if more than one person is involved.
“The modus operandi has been similar in all six cases. The killer invariably struck between 3.30 am and 5 am in areas that are busy during normal hours. The last incident was reported from the Paltanbazar area earlier this week,” additional SP Debajit Deuri told HT.
The killer, being referred to as the Stoneman and Night Rider, had first struck near the Guwahati railway station. Five of the victims were from various localities under Panbazar police station. Panbazar is in the heart of the city, and at least 600 beggars are found in the area at any given time of the day.
Deuri said the police picked up six persons after chasing certain clues, but their interrogation did not yield much. “We have increased vigilance in these areas and have also asked the local people to be extra careful,” he said.
While the Stoneman has been terrorising terrestrially in Guwahati, the police are baffled by a “body from the sky” in eastern Assam’s Golaghat district.
Residents of Julapathar Ghilabari village under Ghiladhari police station had on February 2 discovered a lifeless body of a man atop a 30-35 ft bamboo grove. “We don’t know how the rotting body got there but we have taken DNA samples to establish the identity of the person,” said Golaghat SP Deepak Kumar.
Villagers claimed they had the answer. They said the body was dropped from a helicopter that was hovering over the village on the evening of January 31. The police are tightlipped about the villagers’ claim.