A 30-year-old beggar bravely fought off a youth who tried to molest her at Samastipur railway station until he poured acid on her and fled on Friday.
The police doubt the victim’s statement but eyewitnesses say the incident occurred in full public view. The woman, a resident of Darbhanga district, suffered around 40 per cent burns and was being treated at the Sadar hospital in Samastipur, around 100km northeast of Patna. The absconding tormentor, Ganesh Solanki, is a rickshaw-puller.
The woman had fled home and used to beg near the railway station.
She was resting on platform number 4 around 2am when the accused began making advances at her. When she protested, he brutally assaulted her and tore off her clothes. Passengers remained mute spectators to her cries for help. Encouraged by their silence, the youth poured acid on her and fled.
Eyewitnesses said Government Railway Police personnel deployed at the station were informed but they turned a blind eye.
The victim suffered injuries to her neck, face and left hand. She was admitted to the Sadar hospital. Doctors said she received 35 to 40 per cent burn injuries and was not serious. A large number of people gathered at the Sadar hospital and created a commotion. Sub-divisional railway police officer Sanjay Kumar Jha and station house officer Rajesh Kumar Manjhi rushed to control the situation.
In her statement, the victim told the police that Ganesh was harassing her for the past week. But the sub-divisional railway police officer said: “Her statement is contradictory. She might have been subjected to sexual harassment elsewhere.” A police team would be sent to the woman’s native place to get details. “She has provided us the cellphone number of a relative. We tried to contact the relative but in vain,” the officer said.
The condition of Naudip Yadav, who was bobbitised by a middle-aged woman on Wednesday night when he tried to outrage her modesty at Lahoria village is said to be critical.
blow by blow
• Accused makes advances at beggar resting at Samastipur station around 2am on Friday
• Victim resists. Accused tears up her clothes
• Victim cries for help, bystanders quiet
• Accused pours acid
on victim, flees