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The Caspian Hare

Serial strangler on India's trains?

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The Caspian Hare




In the first incident, a 21-year-old student of the Assam Agricultural University was found strangled in the toilet of a compartment reserved for differently abled people on the New Tinsukia-Rangiya Express on Tuesday morning. Her body was found by a sweeper at Simaluguri station around 9.15 am, barely 20 minutes after she had boarded the train from Sivasagar.

The victim was on her way to Golaghat to meet her uncle.

According to the woman’s mother, who had dropped her off at the Sivasagar railway station, she was carrying Rs 10,000 to buy a mobile phone. “The marks on the victim’s neck suggest that she was strangled. She bled from the nose too,” a railway police officer said on the condition of anonymity.

Significantly, a gamosa — a traditional Assamese handwoven towel — was recovered from the toilet. As the compartment was empty, there were no witnesses to the crime.

The woman, incidentally, hailed from Bihar. “Although rape looks unlikely as her clothes were intact, we are awaiting the autopsy report,” the source said.

Simaluguri railway station does not have any CCTV cameras that can help the police in their investigation.

The second incident, which occurred the very next day, bore glaring similarities with the previous one. According to railway police, the body of a 48-year-old woman was recovered from the toilet of a compartment reserved for differently abled people on the Awadh-Assam Express at Jorhat’s Mariani Junction around 2.15 pm on Wednesday.

Police said the victim, who also hailed from Bihar, had boarded the train from Dibrugarh in upper Assam. The train left Dibrugarh station at 9.36 am and arrived at Mariani Junction around 2.05 pm. “The woman had probably been dead for over an hour before her body was discovered by another passenger,” a railway police officer said.

In this case too, a gamosa was recovered from the toilet.



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