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Police Find 500 Skeletons in House

CALCUTTA, India (Reuters) - Police in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta have found about 500 human skulls and skeletons in a house after responding to a complaint about a foul smell coming from the building.

``We have sealed the building after the Calcutta Municipal Corporation lodged a complaint with us yesterday,'' Prabir Kumar Saha, the police officer investigating the case, told Reuters on Friday.

``Investigations are still at an early stage and a clearer picture on what these (skulls and skeletons) were being used for will emerge soon,'' he added.

Javed Khan, the senior official whose complaint prompted Thursday's raid on the house, said it was possible the skulls and skeletons were being used for Tantric practices.

Tantric priests believe human bones are an essential part of their rites in order to attain ``siddhi'' (salvation). Tantric rites, which are as old as Vedic practices, were adopted by the later Buddhists and spread to countries like Tibet.

In June, police found 86 human skulls at a bus stand in Siliguri city, some 600 km (375 miles) north of Calcutta.

Indian police release pictures of Monkey man killer

Indian police have issued pictures of the Monkey Man killer, amid reports he has claimed his second victim.

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A pregnant woman died after falling down stairs at her East Delhi home as her family fled from the creature.

Officers in Ghaziabad are offering to pay 75 to anyone who can capture Monkey Man on film. Around 1,000 officers are involved in the search.

Vigilantes are taking to the streets frustrated at the police's failure to catch him.

In Noida, a mechanic wearing a black outfit and fitting a description of the Monkey Man was beaten up. A second man was attacked for apparently performing "mystical formulations".

Some witnesses say the failure to capture the Monkey Man is explained by his ability to make himself invisible.

Deepali Kumari, from Noida, said: "It has three buttons on its chest. One makes it turn into a monkey, the second gives it extra strength, the third makes it invisible.

"He touches a lock and it breaks. But he is afraid of the light."

Story filed: 12:29 Wednesday 16th May 2001

Monkey man panic continues in India

Panic caused by a weird monkey-man has grown in the Indian town of Ghaziabad following more attacks and sightings.

The latest victim was housewife Shamir Begum, 30, who fainted after she came across the monkey-man prowling on her terrace yesterday. When she came to he had gone.

Since April 28, more than a dozen people have been treated in hospital for fractures or deep scratches caused by the monkey-man or by falling as they flee from him.

Police are being inundated with calls about sightings and attacks by the monkey-man, who some claim is a beast and others a man wearing a rhesus monkey mask.

While the monkey-man ambushes residents, police say he seems to have no motive of either robberry or sexually assaulting them.

Local media reports suggest that the streets of the town are becoming deserted, with shopping arcades closing before sunset.

Many familes have also sent their children away from Ghaziabad, while office workers have been staying at home.

Ghaziabad police chief Prashant Kumar, who believes someone is causing mischief wearing a mask, says: "There is certainly absolute panic in the city."

Last week, police arrested a man for wearing a rhesus monkey mask to scare people, but he claimed not to be the man police are looking for.

The suspect said he had worn the mask only to copy the monkey-man in the news. The attacks and sightings have continued since the suspect's arrest.

Story filed: 13:05 Sunday 13th May 2001


Hanumana, the monkey God, is very popular deity and is worshipped all over India. He is normally shown with a monkey-face on a very well built and strong human body. Hanumana is a very important character in the great epic Ramayana in which he is depicted as the epitome of devoted service and loyalty to his master (Rama).Hanumana is considered to be incarnation of Lord Shiva and son of Vaayu (Wind God) and Anjana, who was an apsara (by name Punjikasthalie) and by curse of sage Durvaasaa had become a monkey.

Anjana became daughter of Monkey-king Kunjara and was married to Monkey-king Kesari of Mountain Sumeru . Therefore, Hanumana is also referred to as Keasri-nandana.

The story of birth of Hanumana is as follows:
King Dasharatha performed a yajna ceremony for award of sons. After the ceremony, he distributed the offering among his three queens. The youngest, Rani Kaikeyi, was offered the fruit last, which she resented. Meanwhile a kite came and flew away with the share of Kaikeyi to the mountain where Anjana was taking a stroll and longing for a son. Vaayu (Wind God) came forward and handed over the fallen fruit into Anjana's hand. Shiva appeared on the site and guided Anjana to consume the fruit and by doing so she conceived Hanumana. Because he was conceived from a part of the ceremonial cake from which Rama was also born, Rama considered Hanumana as his brother.
That was a day of eclipse (Grahana), when as per Hindu belief, tries to engulf the Sun. At the same time Baby Hanumana felt hungry and seeing the glowing Sun, he flew towards the Sun to catch and engulf it. Raahu saw this and went to Indra and complaint that that was already another person who was performing his duty. Indra assured him that no one was deputed by the devas for this job and he should go and once again try to perform his duty. To assure him his support, Indra accompanied Raahu and to their amaze they saw Hanumana chasing and trying to engulf the Sun. At this scene, Indra became angry and hit Hanumana with his thunderbolt on his chin (Hanu, a sanskrit word means chin). Thus injured, Hanumana fell down on earth. Seeing this, his father Vaayu became angry and stopped flowing. Air sustains life - one can live without food and water for days but cannot live without air even for a short while. In all the three worlds, there was no air to breathe and living beings started suffocating. To solve the crisis, all the gods came to Vaayu and asked pardon for Indra's action and requested him to start blowing once again.

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In order to pacify him further, most of gods conferred boons upon little Hanumana. Indra said that because his chin (Hanu) was broken by his vajra, therefore he will be known by the name of Hanumana and want be killed by his vajra. Brahma conferred him the boon that he will be immortal and will be able to change his appearance at his will. Surya-deva said he will give a part of his energy & luster and also will teach him vedas as and when he desired. Varuna said that even after a long life, he will be unaffected by the fastening effect of water. Yama said that he will not have to fear his noose. Kuvera gave him his mace (gada) and blessed him victory in all his fights.

Vishwakarma blessed him that he will never be hurt by the weapons made by him. Blessed thus by the gods, Hanumana grew up as a mischievous child. He was a constant source of nuisance and irritation to the sages who lived in the nearby forest. Troubled by his mischief's, the sages pronounced a curse on him that he will forget all the strength and qualities he possessed and only when he will be reminded by others, he will realize his strength and qualities.

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When Shri Rama accompanied by his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana were in the forest, in order to enable his father King Dasharatha to fulfill a boon given to his youngest queen Kaikeyi, when she had earlier saved his life, Sita was abducted by Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka. In this time of need, Hanumana met Shri Rama & Lakshmana and took them to Sugreeva, the exiled king of Kishkindha.With the help of Shri Rama, Sugreeva killed his elder brother Baali and regained the throne of Kishkindha. In lieu of this, Sugreeva promised Shri Rama of every help in finding Sita.


To help Shri Rama in finding Sita, Sugreeva raised an army of bears and monkeys. When it was learnt from Jataayu, that Ravana had abducted Sita, whose kingdom was across the ocean, the question was raised as to who can cross the ocean and come back with the news and whereabouts of Sita. Then Jambavan, the king of the bears reminded Hanumana of his various powers, which he had forgotten because of curse of the sages. Then Hanumana flew across the ocean, met Sita in Lanka, gave Rama's ring to her and assured that Rama will come with his troops and after defeating Ravana will take her back. Then Hanumana flew back to rejoin Rama and informed him the state of Sita in Lanka.

As desired by Rama, a bridge was built across the ocean and a fierce battle was fought between Rama and Ravana. During the battle, Lakshmana, younger brother of Rama, became unconscious. Once again Hanumana flew to the Dronaachal Mountain to bring a specific herb (Sanjeewani Jadibuti) necessary for curing Lakshmana. On reaching the mountain, when Hanumana was unable to find the specific herb, he lifted the whole of the mountain and flew back to Rama. On the way, he was shot down by Bharata, another brother of Rama. But when Bharata realized his mistake, he sent him back to Rama, where Hanumana delivered the herb to Vaidhya Sushain, who treated Lakshmana successfully.

After the war was over and Rama went back to Ayodhya and was enthroned. Everybody who had helped him during his stay in the forest were suitably rewarded but Hanumana was purposely forgotten by Rama. Sita then took out her necklace studded with precious stones and gave it to Hanumana, who accepted the gift with great gratitude. But after sometime the courtiers saw that Hanumana was breaking open the priceless stones one by one and looking within them for something, and when unable to find, throwing away the broken pieces. The courtiers were horrified at his behavior and asked him the cause of this ridiculous act. Hanumana told them that a thing which does not contain Rama was useless for him (though it may be priceless in this materialistic world.). Irritated by his answer, the courtiers asked him whether Rama resided in his heart? When they received the answer in affirmative, they asked Hanumana to prove it. Hanumana immediately split open his chest wall with the nails of his hands and there the courtiers saw Rama accompanied by Sita and other brothers sitting in his heart. The courtiers were amazed at this site.

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Rama stood from the throne & walked towards Hanumana to embrace him for his impartial love for him. On the healing touch of Rama, the chest of Hanumana returned in original state and all the courtiers applauded Hanumana's bhakti for Rama. After this incident, Rama wanted to give Hanumana a boon for his priceless services. Hanumana asked that he should live as long as the deeds of Lord Rama were on the lips of the people. These deeds were, are and will be ever described by men and so Hanumana lives for all time.

Gondolas in Venice; Actual size=240 pixels wide

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If someone other than me has written an article, I'll be sure to include a byline at the bottom.

This article contributed by Jane Turner.