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HindustanTimes Mon,28 Jul 2014

Patiala girl assault: accused auto driver arrested

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 16, 2013
First Published: 23:47 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:04 IST(17/10/2013)

The local police have finally arrested the auto-rickshaw driver who had recently assaulted a girl student of Punjabi University and had been trying to hoodwink the police.

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Swarn Singh in fact tried to befool the police by helping them as part of the auto-rickshaw union whenever called for questioning.

A student of human genetics, Manpreet Kaur was attacked with a screwdriver while she was going in the auto-rickshaw to the bus stand on October 12. She is currently undergoing treatment at Rajindra Hospital here.

SSP Hardyal Singh Mann said Swarn, a resident of Shekupura village near the university campus, was arrested on the basis of a sketch drawn on the basis of the victim's description of him.

"Interestingly, the accused travelled with members of the auto-rickshaw union whenever they were called to the police station for investigation," Mann said. But the police were groping in the dark all these days. "The description given by the victim to the sketch expert team matched with the accused and he was nailed," he said.

Mann said the accused had confessed to the crime saying he had mistaken the girl to be newly wed as she had put mehndi on her hands. He wanted to snatch her belongings only but after she resisted,  he assaulted her, he said.

The police have recovered the screwdriver besides the victim's bag, mobile phone and purse.

The SSP said they had decided to increase patrolling, easpecially near educational institutes, to ensure security to women.

Mann said auto-rickshaw drivers would be sensitised on maintaining law and order besides ensuring proper registration of their vehicles.

Meanwhile, condemning the attack, the Democratic Teachers' Front demanded that the victim be compensated by the state government and the university.

Jaswinder Singh Brar, convener of the front, said the university had failed to provide adequate girls' hostels on the campus.

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