A 35-year-old man who is suspected to have killed at least seven women in the past six years was arrested by the East Burdwan police on Sunday.
The accused, identified as Kamruzzaman Sarkar, has allegedly attacked 11 women since 2013 and is suspected to have killed seven of them, police said. His latest victim was a 52-year-old woman who was strangulated to death in East Burdwan’s Kalna this April.
Bhaskar Mukherjee, Superintendent of Police of East Burdwan, said Kalna recently witnessed a number of murders, especially of women, and the pattern was strikingly similar.
“Sarkar has admitted that he committed the crime. The victims were all strangulated with chains. In some cases, they were hit by a heavy object on their head and then strangulated,” said Mukherjee. In one or two cases, there were also indications of sexual assault before murder.
The crimes were mainly committed in areas under police stations of Kalna, Manteswar, Memary (East Burdwan district), Balagarh and Pandua (Hooghly district). Looking at the pattern of the murders, police say there were no accomplices with him. The police also spoke to two women from Kalna in East Burdwan who claimed to have survived the murder attempt in 2018. The CCTV footage of the area where they were attacked was also examined. As per police, a sketch of the accused couldn’t be done as he would mostly wear a helmet while committing the crime.
However, after examining the cases closely, police zeroed in on the colour of the bike he allegedly used. All police stations and civic volunteers were informed about the same.
“Police had also recovered a steel chain from the murder spot in Kalna where a 52-year-old woman was found dead. Armed with these clues, the police launched a drive and started keeping tabs on all vehicles on the roads in the area. On Sunday, some civic volunteers who were checking vehicles in a village road in Kalna, spotted the bike and detained the rider. A bag containing a chain and an iron rod was found. During interrogation, he admitted that he committed all the crimes,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
The accused is from Murshidabad district but has been staying at a place under Nadanghat police station for over two years. “We also raided his residence and found some jewellery, mostly imitation, which we believe he took from the victims. He used to deal in old and broken articles. He was produced in the court and has been remanded to police custody for 14 days. He has two children,” said the officer adding the motive is not clear yet.
“Some murders took place in the last five months. We would not like to comment on his mental status, as that needs to be verified. It’s too early to divulge any more details. We have to interrogate him further,” said an official.