A 29-year-old student, posing as a journalist, stabbed disgraced former Haryana Police chief S.P.S. Rathore thrice on the face outside a court in Chandigarh on Monday.
Utsav Sharma,a student of NID, Ahmedabad, attacked Rathore (68) when the latter walked out of court after morning proceedings. Rathore, convicted in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case, was in court for a hearing related to the case.
Utsav stabbed Rathore thrice on the cheek and neck with a pocket knife, even managing to punch Rathore on his right cheek. The police overpowered and arrested Utsav when he tried to flee.
Chandigarh SSP S.S. Srivastava said Utsav was “psychologically imbalanced”.
Rathore covered the wound with a handkerchief before getting into his car and being taken to a hospital. Within two hours, he was back in court to attend the hearing, with four stitches each on his left cheek and neck.
Utsav, a gold medallist in Fine Arts from the Banaras Hindu University has been depressed for a few months, his family said.
“We’re shocked to hear about this episode. We don’t know how Utsav reached Chandigarh. He often talked about not being able to tolerate growing injustice in society, but never knew these feelings will take such an ugly and shocking turn one day,” said Utsav’s father S.K. Sharma, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at IT-BHU.
Rathore, who retired as Haryana’s senior-most policeman in 2002, was sentenced in December to six months in prison for molesting Ruchika Girhotra in 1990. He has appea-led against the sentence and was in court as part of that trial.
On Monday morning, the court declared that the trial would, from here on, be off-limits to the media.
With inputs from Anurag Singh in Varanasi.