Man attacking women with ‘sharp objects’ in police custodyPolice have confirmed that no syringes were used in the attacks
On June 1, Anika was walking her dog at around 10.30 at night in Thahiti when a motorcycle sped towards her. As it passed, the driver stuck out his hand and hit her in the stomach. Anika felt a sharp piercing sensation.
“I thought I had been hit by the motorcycle handle,” she told the Post. “I told my husband about the incident but didn’t think further about it.”
But Anika woke in the middle of the night with a burning sensation in her stomach. There was a small blood clot in her abdomen and a tiny mark that looked like it could’ve been made by a needle or a syringe. Afraid, she decided to visit the hospital and then file a complaint with the police.
Since the attack on Anika, numerous reports have emerged in the media about a series of ‘syringe attacks’ on women in the Sohrakhutte-Dallu-Swayambhu area, leading to escalating fears. Doctors at the Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Diseases Hospital in Teku said that at least five other women had visited the hospital in the past month complaining of similar attacks. All women were prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection.
On Thursday night, police arrested a man from Maharajgunj whom they said was responsible for the attacks. The man identified as Santosh Karki confessed to attacking women with sharp objects during interrogation, said Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, chief of the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu.
“Initially, Karki used a small, sharp wooden piece but later, he began using iron nails,” said Subedi.
When asked about his motive, Karki said he did it “for fun”, said police.
“We are trying to find out if he had any other motives,” said Subedi.
Karki, who operates a fast food restaurant in Maharajgunj, would stab women with sharp nails while en route to his room in Naikap at around 10 pm.
At least six women have come into contact, said police. “Of them, four have already filed complaints while two others came through the Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Disease Hospital,” said Subedi.
After increasing reports about such attacks, the police had formed an investigation team of officials from the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu and the Metropolitan Crime Division. Karki, 30, was arrested based on descriptions provided by the victims and by tracking his motorcycle through CCTV footage.
“Karki never attacked women at places other than the route he used while returning home,” Subedi told the Post. “He himself is not sure how many women he’s attacked. We are investigating to see if any more women fell victim to this man.”
Police, however, confirmed that Karki had not used any syringes to attack women.
“As per the investigation and talks with doctors who oversaw the cases, syringes have not been used,” said Subedi. “The culprit behind the attack has been arrested and police are regularly patrolling every night to make the Capital safer.”