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Serial killer on the loose
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 6
Correlating evidences in five murder cases and an attempt to murder case, the Jagraon police is suspecting that a serial killer of labourers (Punjabis as well as migrants) is on the prowl in the Raikot and Jagraon areas in the region.

He has allegedly killed five labourers in the past six months while the sixth narrowly escaped death on Wednesday.

The police has launched a massive manhunt for the suspect, a six-feet-tall man, after corroborating the manner, timing of the five murders and the selection of one community of victims. The Jagraon police has alerted the Ahmedgarh and Ludhiana police also.

All labourers were targeted on Mondays or Tuesdays when they were answering the call of the nature early in the morning. All were hit on the back of the skull with a sharp-edged weapon or rod. The alleged killer took away the trousers of the victims after the murder.

The statement made by the sixth target, Harbans Singh, who survived the attack, led the police to concede that all incidents seemed to be the handiwork of one person only. Till now, the police was treating the murders as separate incidents.

Jagraon SSP Shiv Kumar Verma has deputed DSP Bhupinder Singh to coordinate with the government railway police and launch a hunt for the killer. The police is preparing sketches of the accused on the basis of information provided by Harbans 
Singh of Kaler village two days ago.

Special teams, led by SHO Sidhwan Bet Dharam Pal and SHO, Sadar, Gurmit Singh, have been deputed to vigil the area for preventing the re-occurrence of incidents, besides early arrest of the suspect. The police has requested the residents of the region not to panic and attack any suspect on their own. The residents have been urged to provide information to the police.

“When we correlated information provided by Harbans Singh with blind murders of five persons, we found close similarity in the modus operandi adopted by the suspected killer. In all cases the victims had been hit with some sharp-edged weapon at the back of the head and the trousers were missing from vicinity of the bodies,” said Verma, adding that the preys were attacked while they were answering call of the nature at some deserted place near railway tracks or on the outskirts of towns or villages.

The victims were Gian Deen, resident of Karnail Gate, Jagraon, a migrant labourer (case registered by the GRP, Jagraon, on October 2, 2006), Charrat Singh, alias Kala, of Agwaar Lopon (body found near Truck Union and case registered by sadar police station, Jagraon, on November 1, 2006), Sohan Singh of Ajit Nagar (body found near Landa Phatak, near Kothe Khanjuran, and case registered by the GRP on March 7), an unidentified person (body found near drain on March 26) and Jaswinder Singh of Kothe Raallah (body found near railway station, Jagraon, and case registered by the GRP on March 29).

Despite rumours of suspected serial killings in the area, the state police did not initiate action in the matter as three of the bodies were found under the jurisdiction of the GRP.

It was during investigations of the case registered against unknown persons at Jagraon sadar police station for attempting to murder Harbans Singh of Kaler village in the Sidhwan Bet area two days ago that the police suspected a common link in the six incidents.

Harbans Singh told The Tribune that he was already scared after the incidents. On Wednesday morning, when he was sitting in a vacant plot near Tehsil Chowk, he noticed some movement behind him. “As I looked back, I saw a tall man who hit me with a sharp rod kind of thing. I was not hit hard and he managed to run away,” he said.

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