In a brutal assault, an auto-rickshaw driver attacked a 21-year-old girl student of Punjabi University with a screwdriver here on Saturday morning, leaving her seriously injured.
Finding the girl alone in the auto, the driver had tried to rob her of her belongings and when she resisted, he assaulted her.
The attack was so severe that one of lungs of Manpreet Kaur, a resident of Khanauri in Sangrur, got punctured. Manpreet, who is pursuing her master's from the university, lives as paying guest near the university campus.
She has been admitted to Rajindra hospital here. Deputy medical superintendent Dr Harshinder Kaur said her condition was stable but critical and she had been kept under constant observation.
"There are eight injury marks on her body. One of her lungs has been completely punctured for which the doctors have started treatment," she said.
The police have started investigations. Investigating officer Harmanjit Singh Cheema said the incident took place around 5.30am when the girl hired an auto-rickshaw to go to the bus stand to board a bus to Faridkot for the marriage of her cousin.
Cheema said instead of taking her to the bus stand, the unidentified auto driver turned towards Sadhovilla road near the university on the pretext of getting more passengers.
"Seeing the girl alone, the driver tried to snatch her bag and mobile phone. Facing resistance, the accused attacked her with a screwdriver injuring her grievously on neck and abdomen," he said.
The accused then fled the spot. The girl called her relatives in Patiala, who rushed her to the hospital.
The police have registered a case against the accused under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery).
SP Jaskiranjit Singh Teja said the police had launched a manhunt to nab the accused.