More than 40 days after Rati Tripathi was pushed out of a moving train near Karouda railway station in Madhya Pradesh, police have arrested six suspects, including two former railway staffers, whose interrogation revealed that the 29-year-old woman valiantly fought the attackers who were trying to steal her purse and mobile phone.
The woman, working with a private company in Delhi, sustained serious head and facial injuries and has been admitted to a hospital here after she was pushed out of Malwa Express on November 10. Rati came out of coma 10 days ago, but she is still unable to speak.
According to officials, Rati caught Chandan Lodhi (50), who was trying to steal her purse, by his hair and did not loosen her grip despite another attacker, Devsinh Lodgu (37), biting her hand. One more accomplice joined the accused and snatched Rati’s chain.
As she continued to fight, Chandan jumped out of the slow moving train while Devsinh pushed Rati on the rail tracks, said Special DG (Railway) Maithisharan Gupta, adding that the incident happened at around 5.45 am and the victim was sleeping on a berth close to the door.
When the incident was reportedly brought to his notice, the TTE made no attempt to stop the train, officials said.
The railway police claimed they had a tough time initially because no eyewitness came forward and the TTE’s questioning did not offer any leads.
The TTE had allowed the accused to enter the compartment after they flashed passes, issued by a railway union, and made no attempt to check whether they were genuine.
Rati’s family had accused the Railways and the investigators of doing little while she battled for her life at a private hospital in Bhopal. Most of the accused belong to Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The railway police from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, in a coordinated operation, eventually zeroed in on two former gang members and busted the gang that has admitted to committing more than 14 crimes at night. Most of the accused belong to Lalitpur in UP.
The gang of six would board the train and identify potential victims, preferably women and young girls travelling alone. They would then gather in the compartment. Describing the gang’s modus operandi, the police said two accused would steal valuables, while four others ensured that the doors were open to facilitate a quick escape.