The victim was on her way to Kandra from Ranchi when she was targeted
A 19-year-old polytechnic student scuffled and screamed her way out from the clutches of a man who pinned her inside the toilet of a passenger train on Thursday with the intention of violating her.
The gutsy Ranchi resident not only managed to escape the rape attempt, but also ensured that her 20-year-old tormentor, Akash Munda, was arrested and sent to jail.
The incident took place between Purulia in Bengal and Chandil in Seraikela-Kharsawan on board the Hatia-Tata Passenger around 2pm.
The second-year diploma student of Government Polytechnic, Gamharia, was returning to her hostel in Kandra, 2km from her college, after Karma holidays at home in Narkopi, 30km from the capital. She boarded the train from Ranchi around 11am for the four-hour journey.
According to sources in the railway police, after the train left Biramdih station in Purulia, she went to the toilet unaware that she was being followed on the corridor.
“As soon as she opened the door to come out of the toilet, the youth pushed her in. He pinned her against the wall, but she managed to stop him from bolting the door from inside. She screamed for help and was lucky there were few passengers in the compartment. They rushed to her rescue,” said a source.
At Chandil, the next station after Biramdih, the accused was handed over to the GRP.
Tatanagar SRP Mritunjay Kishore conceded that there were no provisions of providing escort parties to passenger trains and hence, women were easy targets for sex offenders.
He said Munda was a resident of Lohardaga, but worked at a roadside hotel near his railway station. It is yet to be ascertained from where he boarded the train.
“He was taken back to Purulia because the incident took place under the jurisdiction of the GRP there. The accused had tried to impose his will on the girl. Had he been able to lock the toilet door, he would have been successful in his attempt. The GRP have registered a case under Section 376 (attempt to rape) of IPC,” the SRP said.
He added: “The girl’s parents were informed in Ranchi. She could not resume her journey to Kandra because she had to accompany the Purulia GRP to lodge an FIR.”
Munda was sent to judicial custody in Purulia on Friday.
Should there be escort parties for passenger trains too?