In just a time frame of 24 hours, two similar incidents of brutal murders, which took place inside coaches of moving trains at Simalugri and Mariani, had shocked Assam.
On Tuesday, a student of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) had been strangled to death in the toilet of the moving 15925 (dw) Rangiya-Dibrugarh Express and on Wednesday, a body of another strangulated woman had been found in the toilet of the running 15909 (dw) Awadh Assam Express.
In a recent development in the case of rape and murder of the woman in Mariani, one person, suspected of committing the crime, has been arrested from Tinsukia. The suspect has been arrested by the GRPF based on a CCTV footage after which he was handed over to the police.
On the other hand, in connection to the death of the AAU student, investigation is still on. One artist named Debashish Banerjee have come from Kolkata to prepare a sketch of the person based on the inputs given by the victim’s mother, at whom she glanced on while seeing off her daughter at the station.
The two similar incidents have raised questions on the security of people, especially women travelling in a train.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal who is also the Home Minister of the state, expressing concern over the incidents has directed Assam Police to arrest the accused as early as possible and ensure severe actions on the convict.
However, these incidents have brought to light the loopholes persisting in Assam Police. According to the prevalent laws, security personnel have to be stationed at a distance of 10 feet on either sides of all the railway lines located in Assam. Any crime or mishap and the security of the passengers within this area between the rail and the rail line have been given to the Government Railway Police (GRP), which operates under the Assam Police, .
Simultaneously, the responsibility of safeguarding the properties of railways and security of the railway employees and officials within this area has been entrusted on the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
As both the incidents have taken place in the toilets of railway coaches concerning passengers, it has come under the jurisdiction of GRP and thus, complaints for the cases have been registered at Simaluguri and Mariani police stations, under GRP, respectively.
However, GRP ADGP R Muralitharan has still not visited Simaluguri to take stock of the incident and the investigation.
It may be mentioned here that, in order to investigate the incidents, Assam Police Head Quarters and GRP have formed two separate Special Investigation Teams (SIT) to look into the matters.
Featured Image: NDTV