For a number of weeks, hysteria has been building in India, especially around the capital of New Delhi, that people are being attacked by a gigantic, crazed ape. Two deaths have been reported. A pregnant woman died on Tuesday when she fell down a stairway when neighbors began screaming that the monkey man was in the building. A man leaped off a roof to his death screaming “the monkey man has come.”

Now New Delhi police are saying that the claims are the result of hysteria generated by agents of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI. Manoj Kumar Lal, deputy commissioner of police was quoted as saying that it was a case of mass hysteria. Police are blaming a band of men dressed in costume, claiming that they are the source of the stories.

Police also claimed that they have narrowed down the rumors, which were designed to build panic and ruin India’s Independence Day celebration in two months, to two specific individuals.

The kala-bandar, or monkey man, is allegedly a mysterious and mischevious mythological animal in the region. A senior police officer told the New Delhi Daily Pioneer that “the whole drama was very carefully enacted by anti-social elements who wanted to test the nerves of the New Delhi police.”

Police claim that forty-five emergency calls about the creature made on Wednesday, May 9 were all bogus, and that people reporting to hospital with bites and mauling injuries were hurt by a nail, not the teeth of an animal.

Insight: this is similar to the Chupacabra scare, with the difference that there have been many animals killed and injured during Chupacabra attacks in ways that cannot be explained. It is also worth noting that strange attacks by ordinary monkeys have been reported recently in India, and that the ‘monkey man’ is described as being ‘four feet tall.’ It seems possible that these attacks could represent more bizarre behavior on the part of the local monkey population. To add to the mystery, the hair of an unknown primate has been found by British researchers in Bhutan. For that story, click here. For the other monkey stories, see below.

To read the New Delhi Pioneer’s account of the monkey man, click here.

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