Cuttack: A special police team has been formed to identify and trace the killers in the wake of three murders in the city since Tuesday, an officer said. Two police inspectors and 11 constables are party of the team, senior police official Akhileswar Singh said today. Going by the nature of the murders, the murderer has been named “stoneman”.

The first body was recovered from Ranihat Bridge on Tuesday morning. Two bodies, one from near SCB Medical College and another from neighbouring OMP market, were recovered on Wednesday morning.

The throats of all the three bodies were slit and their heads were found to be smashed with a heavy object, he said. The police have stepped up night patrolling and the homeless are being told to sleep at shelter homes, Singh said.

The Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police also plans to take several steps to help prevent more such murders.

"We plan to take a few more initiatives like spreading awareness about the dangers of sleeping in the open," he said.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) has been alerted to remain vigilant as many sleep in the open in station areas.

On June 28, two persons were found to have been killed in the same manner in Paradip.

Nine people were killed by a suspected ''stoneman'' in Berhampur in 1998. In all the incidents, including the recent one, the victims and their killers are still unidentified.