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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Student unions protest against police inaction in varsity girl's assault case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 15, 2013
First Published: 22:41 IST(15/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:42 IST(15/10/2013)

Hundreds of students raised slogans against lackadaisical attitude of police in arresting the accused. The protesting students also lambasted auto-rickshaw union for such a brutal act by one of their members.

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The agitators demanded that police should ensure proper identification and verification of cabs, auto-rickshaws and bus drivers to ensure safety of the women in the city.

Twenty one-year-old Manpreet Kaur, a student at the department of human genetics, was brutally assaulted reputedly with a screwdriver by the driver of the auto- rickshaw she was travelling in to bus stand on Saturday morning.

The attack was so severe that one of her lungs got punctured. While in the attack, the victim received multiple grave injuries on different parts of her body.

The victim is presently under observation at Government Rajender Medical College and Hospital.

However, since the incident, no arrests were made by the city police thus far.

Members of various unions - including Students Federation of India (SFI), Sikh Students Federation (SSF), All India Students Federation (AISF) and Punjabi University Research Scholar Association (PURSA) - participated in the protest on Tuesday.

Sumeet Shammi, a AISF activist, said police should also add Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as only charges under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) were slapped on the unidentified accused.

“For better security of women, the administration should at least install close circuit cameras outside educational institutions and other key points across city,” he added.

Meanwhile, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Gurpal Singh pacified the protesters, promising earliest arrest of the accused and stringent action against him. Later, the SDM also visited the hospital to inquire into the girl's health.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardyal Singh Mann said police had already been conducting extensive investigations into the case.

In the meantime, police got vital clues and received information about the accused, claimed the SSP, adding that they were very close to arrest the accused driver.

Meanwhile, a special team of illustrators drew up a sketch of the accused following the victim's description of him, which was distributed across several police stations in the district.

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