Manmohan seeks report from Railways on incident involving volleyball player Arunima

Distressed over the incident in which national volleyball player Arunima alias Sonu Sinha was thrown out of a running train causing her to lose a limb, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for a detailed report from the Railways.

With Dr. Singh away in China attending the BRICS summit, the Prime Minister's Office sought an explanation over the circumstances that led to Arunima being jostled out of the Padmavat Express near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh while on her way to Delhi on Monday.

PMO sources said the Prime Minister was saddened and distressed over the manner in which the incident had impaired the sporting career of Arunima. Railway authorities later briefed the PMO.

None offered help

A four-member team will conduct an enquiry into the incident. The injured and unconscious Arunima was cited by the tracks by a cabin man. No passenger or official of the train-guard, driver or the police force lodged a complaint at the next stop, let alone bring the train to halt or provide care.

The approaching train just about ran over her leg and kept its course leaving the girl to her plight.

While Sports Minister Ajay Maken has announced a medical compensation of Rs. 2 lakh and an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 25,000, the Railways have promised to take care of her medical bills and assured her a job.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party expressed shock over the incident and held Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati responsible for it.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the incident showed how unsafe women passengers were on trains. What is more shocking is that she lay unattended for over six hours on the tracks, she added. “This is an utter failure of Mamata Banerjee's Railways.”

She said that it showed the inefficiency of the Railways and demanded that Ms. Banerjee accept responsibility and fix accountability for the shoddy way in which the railway officials handled the case.

Mamata offers job

PTI reports:

The Railway has promised all help for Arunima's rehabilitation. “We are extending all help for her rehabilitation, which includes a suitable job in the Railways,” Railway Board Chairman Vivek Sahai told PTI.

“Mamata Banerjee has expressed concern over this unfortunate incident and ordered that all financial assistance be extended to ensure that proper medical attention is provided to her.”

The announcement came after the young athlete said a small compensation would be of no help to her and that she needed a permanent government job.

“A few thousand rupees cannot last long. I have a full life to live and what I need is not small compensation but a permanent government job,” 23-year-old Arunima said.

A case under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 393 (attempt to robbery) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against unidentified persons by the Railway Police.

“A high-level inquiry by a four-member team has been ordered to probe the incident. It will submit its report within a week,” Deputy Divisional Railway Manager (Moradabad) A.K. Singhal said after meeting Arunima at the Bareilly Hospital.

The committee would include commandant Railway Protection Force, Divisional Safety Officer, Divisional Operating Manager and Engineer. Mr. Singhal gave Rs. 5,000 to Arunima as immediate relief.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 9:46:37 AM |

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