Four days after he was reportedly assaulted on board the Sachkand Express and dumped on the platform at Karnal railway station,French national Frank Wilfred,33,succumbed to his injuries today. A train ticket examiner (TTE),Manoj Kumar,has been arrested.
Wilfred was found on the platform on the night of April 29,soon after the Nanded-Amritsar Sachkand Express pulled out of Karnal station. He was rushed to a local hospital,from where he was later shifted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER),Chandigarh,where he was in coma till he died today. Police suspect Wilfred boarded the train in Delhi.
Kumar,the TTE of Sachkand Express,was arrested from the Ambala Cantonment railway station yesterday. Police said Wilfreds travel documents and a few other personal articles were recovered from his possession.
While a post-mortem examination was conducted this evening,preliminary investigations indicated that Frank succumbed to severe head injuries. Sources said the assailants appeared to have hit him on the head with a blunt object repeatedly,or banged his head against a solid object.
We are questioning Manoj Kumar on the motive behind the assault.
The manner in which Frank was assaulted indicates that more people were involved. The TTE is definitely responsible because we have recovered Franks travel documents and other personal belongings from him,and he has not been able to give a satisfactory explanation. However,Franks bag,which may have contained money,is yet to be recovered. The ticket on which he was travelling has also not been found, said V Kamaraja,IGP,Railways,Haryana.
In his statement to the police,Kumar claimed that Franks personal belongings were handed over to him by some passengers. He said his only fault was that he did not report the incident to the RPF or GRP.
Police suspect that Kumar and a few other accomplices assaulted Frank and then left him at Karnal station. How can he be so naïve that he failed to report the matter to the GRP or RPF. It is his duty and TTEs are aware of how to proceed in such incidents. We have also got certain material evidence which indicates his role in the assault, said Kamaraja.
Wilfred,according to the police,had been visiting India almost every year for the last seven-eight years. A few days back,he lost his passport in New Delhi,and was travelling on temporary travel documents. The French Embassy received his lost passport by post this evening. Though it is not directly linked to the case,we are inquiring who sent the passport,and from where, said Kamaraja.
Franks family members are expected to arrive in Chandigarh tomorrow. Meanwhile,the police have appealed to those who travelled on Sachkhand Express on April 29-30 to give any information about the incident.