A man accused of sexually assaulting and killing several women has been sentenced to death in West Bengal’s East Burdwan district. The ruling came in the case of rape and murder of a school girl in the district.
Kamaruzzaman Sarkar, notorious as a serial 'chain' killer for strangling his victims with bicycle chains, was sentenced to be hanged to death by additional district and sessions judge Tapan Kumar Mondal of Kalna court.
Sarkar, a small-time trader of discarded materials, is being tried in other courts for several other similar cases in East Burdwan and neighbouring Hooghly districts.
Sarkar's lawyer said an appeal will be filed before the Calcutta High Court against the conviction and sentence, adding that he would seek minimum sentence for his client.
Special Prosecutor Advocate Soumyajit Raha said the case clearly falls under the ‘rarest to rare’ category and hence, maximum punishment should be awarded to the convict.
The alleged serial killer who targeted women when they were alone at home, was arrested at Kalna in Burdwan district in June last year.
Details accessed by CNN-News18 revealed that a 15-year-old girl was found unconscious in a pool of blood on May 30, 2019, by her mother after she returned home in the evening. There were several injuries on the victim’s head and body. She also found a red cloth or ‘gamcha’ tied around the girl’s neck.
The girl succumbed to her injuries on June 12, last year. Witnesses said the convict was often seen roaming around the victim’s home in a red two-wheeler two-three days before the incident.
“Sarkar has been charged in 15 cases -- two rape and murder, seven murders and six attempt to murder -- in East Burdwan and Hooghly districts,” said a police officer, adding all the crimes took place between 2013 and 2019.
The 42-year-old man, attired in trendy clothes, would allegedly enter homes during afternoon hours on the pretext of taking electricity meter readings and then pounce upon the women with a cycle chain and an iron rod, according to the prosecution.
Some women had managed to escape attacks by the diminutive man, whose modus operandi was to strangulate them with a chain and then hit them on the head to ensure death.
Though he would escape with some valuables from the houses of his victims, theft does not seem to be the motive. Murdering the women seemed to be his main target, police said.
Sarkar, married with three children, had even allegedly inserted sharp materials into the genitals of some of his victims following their deaths, police said.
Following the murder of a middle-aged woman, the district police had circulated CCTV footage of a suspect wearing a red helmet and riding a red motorbike to all police stations, following which he was apprehended at a check-point on June 2 last year.
Sarkar is suspected to have killed a woman in the Anukhal area on January 27 last year, police said. On April 4, 2019, two women were killed within a few hours of each other in the Memari police station area of East Burdwan. Another woman of Memari was also killed in the same manner, the police said.
Swarupa Bibi of Rongpara was one of the lucky few to have escaped a similar attack. She was allegedly attacked from behind with a cycle chain, but she managed to shrug off the attacker and raise an alarm.(With inputs from PTI)