Kollam: It’s bizarre, but true! Kottiyam residents, especially parents of girls, wake up every day in the fear of finding new pairs of footwear at their doorstep, depending on the number of daughters in the house!
The Kottiyam police probed the case, but failed to unravel the mystery. Local youngsters, ever eager to find a clue, too launched their investigation, but the unidentified person or persons remained elusive.
The latest incident of mysterious footwear was reported from two areas in a three-kilometre radius, under Kottiyam police station limits over the past two days.
The ‘appearance’ of new footwear was first noticed by those on their routine morning walk at Pattarumukku, Umayanellore, on February 2. Stray dogs had chewed on some of the footwear, but most others were found untouched. Soon, more houses started receiving footwear.
Initially, the residents did not take it seriously, believing someone had abandoned them. But fear gripped the area as more footwear, all brand new, were found on the road in front of the Umayanellore temple and Alummmodu area.
A pattern soon emerged. The footwear, conforming to the latest fashion trends, were not tossed into the houses: they were neatly placed. The fear multiplied when the residents found that the footwear appeared only at those houses with girls. More pairs were placed at houses where more girls resided.
On being informed, the police launched an investigation and announced that CCTV visuals collected from the area will be examined. Three days later the probe came to a halt as the investigation officer was transferred.
Various theories started spreading in the area. Some felt miscreants were marking houses to commit theft later, some others believed it to be part of a ritual by a childless couple. A few suspected it to be the act of an unidentified mentally unsound person.
Initially, it was also suspected a Good Samaritan might have placed the footwear as he cleared his shop. The suspicion was ruled out as the footwear appeared twice and the person did the act under the cover of darkness.
To confirm, a few youths, with the help of merchants in the area, probed and found that there were no clearance sale in the area, and no footwear shop had been closed.
They also ruled out the possibility of roadside vendors gifting the footwear, since the accessories found were available only in shops. It was also found that the footwear were not stolen ones. None of the footwear carried any message or symbols.
Police, meanwhile, suspect that someone familiar with the area and residents is behind the incident. They were also confused over registering a case in the absence of any threat. Accusing the police of laxity, residents are demanding a thorough probe to unravel the mystery.