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Delhi burns prayer fires to ward off 'Monkey Man'

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

By CNN's Suhasini Haidar

NEW DELHI, India -- Hindu prayer fires are burning in New Delhi as some residents of India's capital city try something new to rid them of a menace that's plagued them for a week.

Thousands of people in Delhi still believe a monkey-man is on the loose after reports emerged of a strange creature that climbs up on rooftops and attacks men, women and children in their homes.

It's no laughing matter either -- three people have been killed and more than 60 have been injured in the panic caused by fear of the monkey man.

It's the burning issue in Delhi, but police have few clues.

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

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"The authorities have failed to nab this mysterious monkey man. We are left with no other option but to seek help from god."

Each night police say they recieve between 50 and 100 calls from people who think they've seen the mysterious creature. Most of them are hoaxes, but thousands of Delhi residents stay up each night to protect their neighbourhoods.

Tired and scared the people patrols often turn violent. One van was smashed by an angry crowd when they suspected it was the monkey-man's getaway car.

Police say they now think the initial rumours may have spurred a gang of pranksters into dressing up and scaring people.

" Somebody is doing all this in a planned way to create panic among the people. People are now panicked. There seems to be some conspiracy," one officer said.

And as people are running out of patience the pressure increases on police. They've established an award of one thousand dollars for anyone who helps capture the mysterious monkey-man.

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

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