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Delhi police close to solving 'Monkey Man' mystery

Monkey Man
Artists impressions of the now imfamous 'Monkey Man' have appeared in the Indian press  

From staff and wire reports

NEW DELHI, India -- Police in the Indian capital say they believe they are close to solving the case of the mysterious "monkey man," blamed for attacks in which dozens of people have been bitten and clawed.

Reports of sightings and attacks by an ape-like creature that has created hysteria in the sprawling city over the last week.

"We have already narrowed down our suspicion on the people involved in the mischief," Joint Commissioner of Police Suresh Roy told Reuters. "We should be able to end this soon."

Police have offered a reward of 50,000 rupees ($1,063) for information leading to the capture of the "monkey man," which Roy said was not an animal, but "humans involved in mischief."

CNN's Suhasini Haidar reports on the continuing scare (May 17)

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Gripped by fear

Roy said police had arrested 12 people on charges of spreading rumours and creating panic in the city of 13 million people that is already gripped by fear.

Roy said police received numerous calls from panic-stricken residents in eastern and northeastern suburbs of the city on Friday night but most of the calls were hoaxes.

"The number of calls were lower than previous nights. Only eight calls were genuine of which seven reported some simple injuries," Roy said.

A young man points to a spot on his back where he claims the 'Monkey Man' scratched him
A young man points to a spot on his back where he claims the 'Monkey Man' scratched him  

Three frantic people have fallen to their deaths from buildings in the past week because they thought the mysterious creature was chasing them.

Vigilante bands have taken to the streets armed with hockey sticks and batons to track down the attacker.

Descriptions of the attacker looks have varied wildly. Some people have said that it had a metallic claw, others said it was like a cat with tawny glowing eyes and one said it had "flaming red eyes and green lights glowing on its chest."

Reuters contributed to this report.

• The Statesman
• The Indian Express
• The Times of India

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