Nine beggars dead: serial killer in Kolhapur?

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Kolhapur:  Nearly 400 kilometers south of Mumbai, fear has gripped Kolhapur city in Maharashtra after the alleged murders of nine beggars in the last four months.

The local police suspect a serial killer is on the loose as the modus operandi in all the murders is identical: the targets have been beggars; their heads have been smashed with a stone in the wee hours of the morning and all of them when they were sleeping near the railway station.

Speaking to NDTV, Vijay Jadhav, Kolhapur's Superintendent of Police confirmed that they do suspect that a serial killer is behind the murders. However, there is a dispute on the number of deaths. Mr Jadhav claims, since March, five such murders took place in Kolhapur, of which two are being reviewed by doctors. Another took place in the small town of Miraj, 53 kilometers from there. But local Right to Information (RTI) activist Dilip Desai, who claims to have accessed post-mortem reports, says nine beggars have been similarly murdered but the police simply registered many of the cases as "accidental deaths".

"There is no one to stand up for beggars. So it is easy to term the murders as 'accidental'. But I have proof that they have all been murdered in a similar manner," Mr Desai said.

Meanwhile, as the hunt for the killer continues, police have upped security around the city.



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