The body of a 55-year-old rickshaw-puller, his head smashed by a stone, was recovered from a footpath of Asutosh Mukherjee Road, in Howrah’s Bally police station area, early on Thursday.
The man was later identified as Jagdeo Rajak, resident of Rajen Seth Lane, in the same area.
Police said Rajak’s head had been smashed beyond recognition with a heavy blunt weapon, most probably a stone. Neither has the weapon been recovered, nor any arrests made.
Preliminary investigations revealed that Rajak left home a few months ago after a quarrel with his wife and three sons. He was a frequent tippler, and his sons could not tolerate his habit of returning home drunk and late every night.
So, Rajak would spend his nights on the footpath. On Wednesday night, too, he lay asleep on the footpath when he was killed.
“We last saw him on Wednesday evening, when he dropped by,” said Bimala, Rajak’s wife. She claimed he may have made some enemies during his regular visits to the local hooch shop.
The police rubbished rumours that Rajak was the latest victim of the elusive Stoneman, who is alleged to have killed at least 12 persons in the 80s.
“The death is still under investigation. So, we cannot ascertain the cause,” said L.N. Meena, Howrah’s additional superintendent of police (town). He confirmed, however, that it was a case of murder.