A day after a 21-year-old girl student of Punjabi University was allegedly stabbed brutally with screwdriver by unidentified driver of the auto-rickshaw she was travelling in on Saturday, police still groping in dark to identify and arrest the accused.
Though police have rounded up more than 40 auto-rickshaw drivers for questioning, but nothing concrete has emerged so far.
A resident of Khanauri in Sangrur, Manpreet Kaur, who is pursuing her master's from the university, was allegedly stabbed reputedly with a screwdriver while she was on way to a bus stand in the auto-rickshaw on Saturday morning.
The attack was so severe that one of her lungs reportedly got punctured. Besides, she got serious injuries on different parts of her body.
She has been admitted at Rajindera Medical Hospital where her condition is said to be stable.
Though Sadar police have already started investigations into the incident following the registration of a case, but the attack has raised serious questions over security of the women in the city.
Superintendent of police (SP) Jaskiranjit Singh Teja said two teams had already been formed to identify and arrest the accused at the earliest.
“Police have detained several auto-rickshaw drivers for detailed questionings in search of a lead,” said the SP.
However, he added that they were hopeful of cracking the case that might take some time as they would have to question over 1,200 auto-rickshaw drivers plying in Patiala. “Questioning auto-rickshaw drivers is very important for a breakthrough,” he said.
Sources with police said: “As the victim recognises the accused, police have conducted an identification parade of auto-rickshaw drivers, but she refused involvement of any of them.”
Divulging information about her health, Dr Harshinder Kaur, deputy medical superintendent at Rajindera Medical Hospital, said the girl had been showing signs of improvement in the last 24 hours and her condition was stable now.
Meanwhile, different students' unions, including the Punjab Students Federation (PSU) and the Students Federation of India (SFI), condemned the attack and demanded immediate arrest of the accused.
General secretary of the Istri Jagriti Munch Amandeep Kaur, one of the activists of the PSU, said such brutal attack was a matter of worry that raised concerns over women's security in the city. “If such incident could happen in the day time, girls are not at all safe during evening and late evening hours,” she said.
Police have already registered a case against unidentified auto-rickshaw drivers under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).