| Manish’s brother Neeraj with their mother. Picture by Rajesh Kumar
|Manish’s identity card
Kosi Kalan, Jan. 27: Manish Mishra might have disappeared as an unclaimed body had his family connection with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee not stirred the local administration into action.
Manish, the grandson of Vajpayee’s sister Vimla, was thrown out of a running train on Saturday after a fight between two groups over harassment of some girl students.
A BSc student of Babu Shivnath Agrawal College in Mathura, Manish was returning home when he was pushed off the Chhattisgarh Express.
Neeraj, his younger brother, said the family had to run from one place to another simply to get a missing report filed in a police station. First, they went to the local Kosi police station. “However, they directed us to go to Mathura where we lodged a complaint,” said Neeraj.
For 24 hours, the family fought a lone battle to trace the body. After the local administration came to know that Manish was related to the Prime Minister, it looked hard enough to make the link between the body found next to the railway tracks and Mahendra Kumar Mishra’s young son.
Since then, a retinue of VIPs has visited the family’s house in the residential complex of Saw Pipes Ltd, where Manish’s father works as a manager in one of the divisions.
Mahendra Mishra, who still cannot speak coherently, said Manish, who scored 72 per cent marks in his Class XII examination, wanted to be an engineer.
The senior superintendent of police, Mathura, Rajesh Kumar Rai, said Manish was not involved in the scuffle that took place after some students, believed to be from Meerut, boarded the train and started harassing the girls, also from Shivnath Agrawal College.
Their college mates protested, leading to the clash. At Vrindavan, the girls and many of the other students from the same college got off the train after pulling the chain.
Sensing a chance to take revenge, the other group of youths started looking for students and pounced on Manish and Rakesh Kumar.
Rakesh, an electrician who was mistaken for a student because of his youth, survived with fractured legs and severe injuries to his head and arms. He was assaulted and thrown out of the train.
“After getting my consciousness back, I saw myself lying near the railway track. Since I could barely walk, I called passersby, who informed the railway police,” Rakesh said.
He said he can identify the culprits. Police are preparing identikits of the suspects, who were said to have been drunk. A couple of witnesses have come forward.
Vajpayee, who was with the family last evening, said: “The guilty will not be allowed to go unpunished.”
Rai said the incident could have been averted had the guard of the train reported the fight to the railway police immediately after it broke out once the train left Mathura station. The coach was only two bogies away from the guard’s.
He said quoting a witness that the guard had seen Rakesh being thrown out of the train.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav visited the family today. He said that though no one can compensate for the life lost, he was giving Rs 2 lakh to Manish’s family and Rs 1 lakh to Rakesh.
“Being the chief minister, I take responsibility for whatever happened to Manish,” he said.