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Fresh strikes puzzle police

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JOY SENGUPTA   |   Published 23.04.12, 12:00 AM

A person allegedly inflicted blade wounds on a 12-year-old girl and a two-and-a-half-year-old boy on Sunday afternoon in the Patna City area, punching a hole in the police claim that the “Blade Man” was in their custody and triggering poser if an innocent youth was in captivity.

Embarrassed after the incidents in the jurisdiction of Khajekala police station, cops claimed that the injury suffered by the 12-year-old girl, Rukhaiya Fathma, could be because of a bike grazing her. But the doctor who administered her the first aid said a blade was used to inflict the wound. Repeated attempts to contact the police over the injury of the boy, Rahul Kumar, went in vain.

Rahul, a resident of Naujar Katra under the Khajekala police station, was attacked around 4pm.

Rukhaiya suffered the injury around 12.30pm, barely 20m away from Khajekala police station. She was on her way back home after buying an ice cream. The girl felt pain on her wrist and saw blood oozing out.

“My sister rushed home, 30ft behind the Khajekala police station, with a wound in her arm. She said she had no clue about the wound until she saw blood oozing out from her wrist. We took her to a nearby private practitioner, who dressed her wound. Thereafter, we went to the police station, as we were sure it was the handiwork of the actual ‘Blade Man’. But the police first refused to believe that my sister was attacked with a blade. One of them said she suffered a scratch because a bike grazed her. How did the police draw this conclusion? They told us that they will interrogate the ice cream seller to find out how Rukhaiya suffered the injury,” Ghulam Nabi, a cousin of the girl told The Telegraph.

M.M. Manjhi, the Khajekala police station house officer, told The Telegraph: “At this moment, it cannot be said if the injury was a result of a blade slash. The girl was standing in front of the ice cream stall and she suffered the wound on the upper side of her wrist. She could have been grazed by a bike. The matter is under investigation.”

But Dr Deepak Kumar, the private medical practitioner who treated Rukhaiya, said she suffered a blade slash.

“An accident or brushing against a vehicle results in scratches and not a clean slit. People hit by a blade feel the pain a little after they suffer the wound. I am sure that this is a blade wound,” Kumar told The Telegraph.

Patna city superintendent of police Kim stood by Manjhi, though. “Prima facie, it does not appear to be the kind of wound which results from a blade. The police are verifying it and the opinion of another doctor will be taken. The girl says that she had seen a bike passing by her,” Kim told The Telegraph.

Challenging the view of the SP, a neighbour of Rukhaiya said: “If the girl was hit by a vehicle, why she did not react immediately? In all the earlier cases of blade attacks, the victims got the sensation of cut only after they saw blood oozing out of their wounds. The same happened with Rukhaiya. She felt the pain only when she saw the blood.”

Release demand

Amid the debate over the nature of Rukhaiya’s wound, the relatives of the teenager arrested on Friday night on the charge of attacking people with blade demanded his immediate release.

“I want my son to be released right now. He has been kept at the police station for three days and being beaten up. After the twin attacks of Sunday, what do the police have to say? Will they now claim that my son went out of the lock-up and attacked the minors? We are poor people and the police are torturing us. They should set my son free and arrest the real culprit instead,” Indu Devi, the mother of the arrested boy, told The Telegraph.

The police are still uncertain if Indu’s son is the real culprit. Kim told The Telegraph: “The person in our custody has not confessed anything till now.”

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