Four attacks have left three dead and one critically injured as a serial killer has been targeting landladies in Uttara.
The attacks have all taken place in Dakkhin Khan area.
Uttara police have been investigating the attacks after reports were filed.
Uttara Deputy Commissioner Bidhan Tripura said: “After analysing the crime scene, we suspect that all four attacks were carried out by the same person. We think he may be suffering from mental illness.
“The serial killer might be targeting landladies for a reason.”
The issue became more prominent as CCTV footage went viral on social media and the people of Dakkhin Khan voicing their concerns.
[caption id="attachment_21282" align="alignleft" width="300"]
A popular facebook post that has since picked up on the social media site[/caption]
From the CCTV footage, the suspect appears to be around 30-35 years old and dresses in a suit.
According to witnesses and police investigation, it appears that the perpetrator goes around looking for apartments to rent. Once an apartment with a To-Let sign found, it may be that he stakes it out to confirm whether there is a landlady or not.
The suspect tries to persuade the landlady for a private tour of the apartment and attacks when they are secluded.
From the wounds and witness testimony, it has been confirmed that he uses a machete.
Warnings were issued in the neighbourhood to create local awareness. Authorities have asked locals to instruct their guards to be more vigilant.
Locals expressed their consternation yesterday as the perpetrator was yet to be caught.
“The sound of the doorbell has become a catalyst of fear for us. We have even added metal grills in front of our main door so that we can identify the visitor first,” said Sangita Sarker, a landlady in Dakkhin Khan.
Four attacks in the span of three months
Investigations revealed that the first attack was on July 24. Sahida Begum, a resident of North Gawair of Dakkhin Khan was visited by a man who wanted to rent an apartment. After discussions, he asked her to show him around the apartment. Her body was later found on the floor of the empty apartment.
It was thought to be a murder and robbery since the murderer had made off with her gold ornaments.
On August 21, Suraiya Akther, a landlady in East Mollartek, was killed in the exact same manner.
Another attack took place on August 31. The suspect tried to kill Jebunnesa Chowdhury, owner of a house in Dakkhin Azampur. She survived the attack and is now undergoing treatment. Both her eyes have been damaged in the attack.
The latest attack was on September 7 on Wahida Akther Shima, 48, of Danipara area of Gawair, Dakkhin Khan. Her husband Sohrab Hossain filed a murder case with Dakkhin Khan police station.
The case statement states that a flat on the sixth floor of the house was empty and a man sought to rent it. After initial discussions, Shima took him to show the flat around.
Shima's body was later found by his family members who grew concerned after she had not returned.
She was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital immediately but the doctors declared her dead.
Uttara police are coordinating with members of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit, while Detective Branch (DB) of police and Rapid Action Battalion as they are also conducting shadow investigations. Law enforcement agencies suspect that the killer might have left the area since they increased alertness.
Sheikh Rukunuzzaman, inspector (investigation) of Dakkhin Khan police station, said there were no CCTV cameras in any of the houses attacked.
“We have a CCTV footage from a building next door which is our lead. But the suspect's face is not clear,” he said.
“We are attempting to draw a picture of the suspected killer taking help of the CCTV footage and information of witnesses and area of the people,” he added.
In 2009, another serial killer named Rasu Khan of Chandpur was arrested after he had killed 11 women in Tongi and Savar areas. He was sentenced to death last year in one of the 10 cases filed against him. His appeal
against the judgement is pending with the apex court.
Another serial killer Momin alias Babu Mandol alias Pichchi Babu was arrested from Uttar Khan in Dhaka 2014. He is accused of killing at least seven women.