Bengal ‘serial killer’ entered homes as power dept staffer
A 37-year-old alleged serial killer has been arrested for sexually assaulting and murdering six women since 2013 in West Bengal’s East Burdwan.
Kamruzzaman Sarkar is also accused of attempting to kill another six women.
A district court in East Burdwan on Monday remanded Sarkar in 12-day police custody a day after he was arrested and booked under Indian Penal Code’s sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 376 (rape). Sarkar’s victims were aged between 15 and 75 according to police. He allegedly carried out two murders and one attempted murder in 2013 and the rest of the crimes this year.
East Burdwan police superintendent Bhaskar Mukherjee said they were looking for a serial killer since a few women were murdered over the past few months while some narrowly escaped murder attempts. “We noticed a pattern though attempts were made to divert the police’s attention.”
Mukherjee said Sarkar allegedly targeted 12 women and killed six of them. “He would conduct a recce for two-three days to find out whether the woman he wanted to target was alone at home,” said Mukherjee. He added the police would reconstruct every crime scene over the next few days.Sarkar, who lived with his wife, mother-in-law, a 14-year-old daughter and two sons, made a living from selling scrap. The police claimed that Sarkar admitted to his crimes during interrogation.
But his lawyer, Subhra Roy, accused the police of framing his client because they had failed to solve these murder cases. “Police are framing my client to hide their failure in solving a number of cases. I will produce medical certificates in the court on the next date [of hearing] to prove that he [Sarkar] suffers from mental ailments,” Roy said.
A police officer, who is involved in the investigations and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the victims were strangulated with chains in the first three cases this year. “…some of his targets had narrow escapes. The victims were initially hit with heavy and blunt weapons behind their heads and then strangulated,’’ he said.
The alleged serial killer would enter houses of his targets posing as an electricity department employee on the pretext of recording metre readings, investigators said.A 20-year-old survivor said her husband and father-in-law were away when a man came one afternoon and introduced himself as an electricity department employee. “He asked me when the men will return home. I said they will return in the evening. He came back after some time and entered the house on the pretext of recording the metre reading. Suddenly he put a chain around my neck. I played dead and he loosened the noose,” she said.
Another 40-year-old woman echoed her. She said the attacker came with half his face covered and tried to strangulate her with a chain. “One of my daughters heard my screams and raised an alarm, following which the attacker fled,’’ she said.