VELLORE: Two women commuters onboard the Tiruttani-Arakkonam Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train were robbed of around 30 sovereigns of jewellery and Rs 13,000 cash at knife-point in the late hours of Tuesday. The robber, who appeared to be in his mid-20s, assaulted one of them, Bharathi (43), when she tried to resist him.
According to sources, the incident occurred around 9 pm on Tuesday in the moving train. After attending a relative’s reception programme at Nagari, Prema and her sister-in-law Bharathi reached Tiruttani by road to catch the last train of the day to Arakkonam.
They boarded the fifth compartment of the EMU as the other compartments were empty. “We boarded the fifth compartment in which there were five men. But three of them alighted from the train and boarded the Tirupati-bound train,” said Prema.
Within a few minutes after the train left the Tiruttani railway station, Bharathi tried to strike a conversation with a young boy. After realising that the boy was mentally retarded, they stopped talking to him. “The robber, covering his face using a handkerchief, came towards us and threatened us to give our jewels and money,” said Bharathi, recollecting the incident with horror. When she tried to resist him, he beaten her up badly besides kicking her repeatedly. “When I tried pulling the emergency chain, he pushed me between two seats in the compartment. He kicked me on the stomach and chest and also hit me on the face. He then snatched the gold chains and cash from me,” added Bharathi.
On seeing the robber attacking Bharathi, the mentally-retarded boy began screaming. After snatching the jewels from Bharathi, the attacker went towards Prema and asked her to part with her jewels. Fearing for her life, she had given her jewels. However, she told the robber that the thali was a fake jewel. “Believing this, he did not asked for the thali,” said Prema.
The robber jumped off the train when it slowed down near Melpakkam. Upon regaining consciousness, Bharathi contacted her husband Ramesh Babu and informed him about the incident. After the train reached Arakkonam railway station, Prema alerted the Government Railway Police (GRP) in the station, who shifted Bharathi to the GH in Arakkonam in a 108 Ambulance.
Bharathi, a resident of Nemilicherry, was shifted to the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital in Chennai after first aid at the Government Hospital in Arakkonam. “Bharathi has to undergo plastic surgery as she sustained severe injuries on her face. The surgery would be performed by Monday after the wounds heal,” said Thulasiraman, a relative.
The police registered a case in this regard and launched an investigation. They also detained the mentally retarded boy till Wednesday morning and let him off later.
Superintendent of Police of GRP, Chennai, A Kayalvizhi visited Arakkonam and conducted an inquiry.