The stoneman is the ubiquitous Indian urban legend. Mumbai has its share of them, as does Kolkata.
His presence haunted Kolkata within the summer of 1989, when 13 people were murdered over six months. The first murder happened in June 1989.
The common thread in these murders were that the victims were all hit on their heads with an important stone. Besides, all 13 were homeless, pavement dwellers who slept in dimly lit areas.
They were killed after midnight or within the early morning hours. The police said all the victims were hit on the top with stones, a minimum of 30 kg in weight, when the victims were asleep. None of the victims might be identified as nobody came forward to say their bodies.
Most of the killings were in central Kolkata, adjoining the Howrah Bridge. No one has seen the stoneman, but the Kolkata Police suspects the killer is mentally unstable.
Though the killings ended by 1989-end, a couple of murders bearing the stone man signature are reported since. However, within the complete absence of any eyewitnesses or survivors, no clear-cut leads were available.
Massive deployments of police in various parts of the town in the dark were resorted to, and various arrests were made. The last such murder was in 2003.
After a spell of arrests during which a couple of “suspicious persons” were rounded up for questioning, the killings stopped. However, since there was no incriminating evidence, all those summarily arrested had to be released. One of those temporarily summoned wasn’t mentally fit be questioned, but the media and police were quick to notice that the killings had ceased. The name of that mentally imbalanced man was Duniarmalik Mohammad Ekram.