A police man inspects the spot in front of Fancy Bazar mosque where a beggar was attacked. File picture
Guwahati, Feb. 15: For the first time city police today claimed to have stumbled on certain clues which may help them track down the mysterious stoneman who struck for the tenth time last night.
The police said a vagrant identified as Lakhan Sahani, 40, escaped with his life even after being hit in the head with a blunt object suspected to be a brick or stone when he was asleep on the pavement along MG Road near Fancy Bazar.
On being informed by a passer-by, a police team reached the spot and took him to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
When he regained consciousness today, Sahani could not give the police any clue.
So far, six pavement dwellers have died and five injured in the street attacks in the past two months.
City police have constituted a special investigating team headed by additional superintendent of police (city) Debajit Deori.
As a majority of the attacks had taken place in areas under the jurisdiction of Panbazar, Paltan Bazar and Bharalumukh police stations, the team comprises officers of these police stations. It is analysing and correlating whatever clues it has gathered so far, an officer at the Assam police headquarters said.
He said the investigators had picked up certain crucial clues.
If a little bit of luck favours us, we are expecting a headway in this case very shortly.
The officer pointed out that between December, 2007, and February 2008 five pavement dwellers were attacked in a similar manner and therefore they had strong reasons to believe that the same individual or group could be involved in the latest string of attacks.
He said the investigators had reopened the case file of the attack on Nasiruddin Ahmed, a night watchman of a hotel at Paltan Bazar who was attacked while asleep with a stone by one of the youths who came in a Maruti 800 in the wee hours on January 31.
The police were also questioning the rickshaw-puller, the only witness to the crime, for further leads, he said. He declined to disclose the name of the rickshaw-puller.
He said there were a common pattern observed in the crimes like the criminal/criminals targeting unsuspecting poor victims while they are sleeping in desolate areas.
There are also some other patterns we have noticed, but these cannot be disclosed at this stage of investigation, he said.
The police are looking into various angles, including the possibilities of the serial killer/killers either being psychopath(s) out to rid society of beggars or someone attacking the pavement dwellers for some tantrik rituals, ostensibly inspired by superstitious beliefs.
Senior superintendent of city police P.C. Saloi said it was difficult to pinpoint the motive when investigation was on.