An encounter between Uttar Pradesh police and three men accused of attacking a woman constable on board a train last month has left one attacker dead and two arrested.
Constable Assaulted on Train
On August 30, head constable Sumitra Patel was discovered unconscious and severely injured inside a compartment of the Faizabad-Ayodhya Saryu Express. Patel, who was travelling to Ayodhya for Sawan Mela duty, had suffered severe head injuries and facial wounds from a sharp weapon.
Police Raid Suspects’ Hideout
Using CCTV footage and technical investigation, UP police identified the prime suspect as Anees Khan and his two aides. A joint task force of UP STF and Ayodhya police conducted a raid on their location in Ayodhya district, hoping to arrest the men.
Encounter Leaves Main Attacker Dead
When confronted, the suspects opened fire on the police party. In the ensuing encounter, Anees Khan received fatal injuries and later died during treatment. His associates Azad and Vishambhar Dayal were injured in the crossfire and subsequently arrested. One policeman was also wounded in the operation.
Motivation for Attack
According to officials, the attack occurred after Patel rebuffed advances from Anees Khan, who had tried to befriend her on the train. Enraged at being spurned, Khan and his friends assaulted Patel, smashing her head against the train window.
Aftermath of Assault
The gravely injured constable was forced to hide under a seat to save her life, as the men absconded when the train slowed near Ayodhya station. Patel’s brother later lodged an FIR against the accused for attempt to murder and deterring a public servant from duty.
The daring assault on a woman police official had sent shockwaves through the UP police force. The Allahabad High Court also pulled up the railway police and state government over the incident during a late-night hearing.
Justice Served, Questions Remain
With Anees Khan’s death, the main perpetrator of the horrific attack has been neutralized. But questions remain about how he and his aides managed to escape after the crime. The two arrested accomplices are being interrogated for more details.
Meanwhile, head constable Patel continues her recovery at a Lucknow hospital. Doctors say she has regained consciousness, but suffers from trauma and skull fractures. Her bravery and composure during the life-threatening attack have been praised throughout the police community.