French national Franck Wilfred (33), who was allegedly assaulted by a travel ticket examiner (TTE) and later thrown out from Amritsar-bound Sachkhand Express at Karnal railway station in Haryana on April 29, died of severe head injuries at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh on Thursday morning.
Wilfred, who was admitted to the advanced trauma center at PGIMER, breathed his last at 1.56am. Accused TTE Manoj Kumar was arrested on Wednesday after the personal belongings of the French citizen were recovered from his possession.
Wilfred, who boarded the train from New Delhi on April 29 afternoon, was travelling in the second class sleeper (non AC) coach.
Following a request by Haryana police, PGIMER authorities allowed the post mortem of the victim, done by a panel of doctors, to be video-graphed.
Inspector Sukhwinder Singh, a Ambala police personnel who was deputed to take care of the injured French national, told HT that officials from the French embassy would arrive to take the mortal remains of the deceased after the post mortem. "French embassy officials are expected to arrive in Chandigarh on Friday," he said.
Meanwhile, Government Railway Police (GRP), which had arrested TTE Manoj Kumar after registering a case of attempt to murder against him, said on Thursday that murder charge would now be invoked against the railway official.
Inspector general of police (Railways) V Kamaraja told HT over phone on Thursday that Manoj had admitted to beating Wilfred mercilessly. Kamaraja however declined to furnish details as to what provoked the TTE to thrash Wilfred ruthlessly.
"Besides, the role of other co-passengers and railways staff, we are also questioning Railway Protection Force teams which guard the trains. We cannot rule out the involvement of more people in the heinous crime," the IG said.
Kamaraja said that a team had reached Nanded Sahib in Maharahstra, from where Sachkhand Express originates, so to get details of other passengers traveling in the same compartment. "We will soon identify the passengers and get their statements recorded to prepare the sequence of incidents that led to the crime," he said.
Wilfred was found lying unconscious and bleeding at Karnal station where the train had made a brief halt. He was rushed to the Karnal Trauma Center from he was referred to the PGIMER in a critical condition.
A text message to French Embassy in New Delhi to seek its reaction on the incident did not evoke any response.