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The elusive stoneman of Kolkata

His presence haunted Kolkata in the summer of 1989, when 13 people were murdered over six months, reports Ritujay Ghosh.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 01:41 IST

The stoneman is the ubiquitous Indian urban legend. Mumbai has its share of them, as does Kolkata.

His presence haunted Kolkata in the summer of 1989, when 13 people were murdered over six months. The first murder took place in June 1989.

The common thread in these murders were that the victims were all hit on their heads with a heavy stone. Besides, all 13 were homeless, pavement dwellers who slept in dimly lit areas.

They were killed after midnight or in the early morning hours.  The police said all the victims were hit on the head with stones, at least 30 kg in weight, when the victims were asleep. None of the victims could be identified as no one came forward to claim their bodies.

Most of the killings were in central Kolkata, adjoining the Howrah Bridge. No one has seen the stoneman, but the Kolkata Police suspects the killer is mentally unstable.

Though the killings ended by 1989-end, a few murders bearing the stone man signature have been reported since. The last such murder was in 2003.