An attempt to save her gold chain cost an athlete her leg near Bareilly, UP, in the early hours of Tuesday. Arunima Sinha, 25, said she was pushed out of the general compartment of a moving Delhi-bound train after she tried to resist the snatchers. She fell on the adjoining track, where an oncoming train sliced off her leg. Her other leg fractured, she is now undergoing treatment at the Bareilly district hospital.
A resident of Akbarpur in Ambedkar Nagar district, Sinha is a national-level runners-up in athletics and also plays volleyball, football and kho kho. Slated to appear for an interview with the CISF for the post of a constable in Noida on Wednesday, she had boarded the Padmawat Express post midnight from Lucknow’s Charbagh station. Two hours later, as the train reached Chenatia — between Barielly and Shahjahanpur — a clash began among the passengers. During the melee, she was allegedly attacked by a few passengers, who wanted to snatch her gold chain. When she resisted, the miscreants threw her out of the train. The government railway police, however, deny the robbery bid. Additional Director General, GRP, AK Jain, said: “She was seated near the door of the compartment and was pushed out during the scuffle. There was no complaint of robbery from any other passenger.” Still, a case of attempted robbery has been registered and “I have ordered a probe,” he said.
Expressing shock about the incident, the BJP held both railway minister Mamata Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati responsible. “BJP is shocked at the incident of a lady being thrown out from a train. She is a volleybal player of national stature. She was lying unattended on the railway tracks for six hours. This is tragic and absolutely shocking,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Holding both Banerjee and Mayawati responsible for the incident, she said while it shows how unsafe women passengers are in trains it is also an index of the poor law and order scenario in Uttar Pradesh. “This is an utter failure of Mamata Banerjee’s Railways. Shows the inefficiency with which the Railways is functioning and how there is no safety for women passengers. She should leave her election campaigning for a day and meet the victim to see for herself why this incident took place,” Sitharaman said.
BJP has demanded that Banerjee accept responsibility for the incident and fix accountability of Government Railway Police and other Railways officials in the sloppiness shown in handling the case. “The future of this lady has been shattered. An inquiry should be conducted into how this incident had come to pass. Both Railways and UP government are equally responsible for this state of affairs. Women are not safe in UP,” she said. The opposition party lamented the fact that such an incident had taken place despite women at the helm of affairs of both Railways and UP.
Late on Thursday, the Railways assured her a job. “We are extending all help for her rehabilitation which include a suitable job in railway,” Railway Board chairman Vivek Sahai said, adding, “The railway minister (Mamata Banerjee) has expressed her concern about this unfortunate incident and ordered to extend all financial assistance for giving adequate and proper medical attention to her.” Recuperating in the Barelli civic hospital, Arunima said she should be given job by the Railways and compensation. The Railways has formed a four-member team to inquire into the incident. Sahai also said that Railways would bear all her treatment cost including providing a prosthetic leg.