A mysterious man going around, attacking young schoolgirls in the town with blades, for the past few months, has created a huge panic among parents.
Despite a cash reward of Rs 10,000, deployment of male and female cops in plain clothes and garnering support from locals, the police have not been successful in nabbing the ‘Blademan’.
A sketch of the man has been released based on descriptions given by victims. “Sketches have been displayed in public places and even in schools,” said a police official.
Meanwhile, the victims are still traumatised by the attack. “When I was coming home from school, I was hit by a motorcycle-borne person. After a while I felt pain in my right arm and blood started coming out of it,” said Fauzia, a student of the Nabab Azmat Ali Khan School, who was recently attacked. She has been down with fever since the day of attack. There are many others like her.
The first attack of the Blademan came to notice on December 26 and so far five cases have been lodged in two police stations of the town. “Four cases have been lodged in Kotwali police and one in the Civil Lines police station,” said Anoop Kumar, circle officer of city area, admitting that the Blademan had attacked more than a dozen young girls but many of them were reluctant to lodge complaints.
With police efforts not yielding results, it’s the people who have decided to fight the blademan. Kidwai Nagar residents, where there have been frequent attacks, have formed a committee to help the police. “We have included people from different communities along with police officials,” said Gauhar Siddiqui, a member of the committee, adding that the motive was to make people aware of the incidents and to guide them in protecting their wards from attacks.
The committee took out a march on Wednesday in Kidwai Nagar area to sensitise locals.
Meanwhile, worried about the safety of their wards, many parents have started escorting their wards to school. “I have no option but to accompany my daughter to her school and for her classes,” said Akhtari Begum, mother of Alisha, a victim. Also, school authorities are advising girls to walk in groups and be alert on the roads. “I have advised my students to walk in groups and be vigilant,” said Mumtaz Zaidi, principal of Zainabia Girls Inter College.