Kusum Kumari, 15, interacting with Jalandhar BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia while undergoing treatment at a local hospital. She took on two snatchers who tried to flee with her new smartphone that her father had bought on instalments for her to attend online classes.(HT Photo)
Kusum Kumari, 15, interacting with Jalandhar BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia while undergoing treatment at a local hospital. She took on two snatchers who tried to flee with her new smartphone that her father had bought on instalments for her to attend online classes.(HT Photo)

Gritty girl of Jalandhar who took on phone snatchers says her only fear was missing online classes

Hospitalised with wrist injury, Kusum Kumari says her father, a daily-wager, bought the smartphone for her only two months ago and couldn’t afford another one
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar | By Jatinder Mahal
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2020 03:30 PM IST

The 15-year-old Jalandhar girl, who bravely fought off two motorcycle-borne snatchers when they tried to flee with her smartphone recently, says fear was the last thing on her mind, rather she was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to attend her online classes if they succeeded.

“My father is a daily wager. He earns around Rs 300 a day and our family is facing difficult times during the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, he bought the smartphone on instalments two months ago so that I could attend my online classes,” says Kusum Kumari, a resident of Fatehpuri Mohalla in Jalandhar.

“My 18-year-old brother had to drop out of school due to our financial condition. He now works as a driver. But my father wants me to study and I want to make him proud by becoming an IAS officer one day,” she says.

“My father didn’t want technology to come in the way of my education and I knew he wouldn’t be able to afford another phone so my studies would get affected if the snatchers had their way. Those were the thoughts racing in my mind as I desperately fought the snatchers,” says the teenager.

‘LEARNING TAEKWONDO HELPED’

Kusum suffered a wrist injury in the incident at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar near the Jalandhar-Kapurthala road after the pillion rider on the motorcycle, Avinash Kumar, 23, snatched her phone when she was returning home from tuition on Sunday afternoon.

She ran behind them and didn’t give up even when she was attacked with a knife. In the meantime, a bystander overpowered the pillion rider. “I’ve been learning taekwondo for three months so that helped,” she says.

ACCUSED OUT ON BAIL DUE TO COVID PANDEMIC

While Avinash was arrested, absconding motorcycle driver Vinod Kumar, 22, of Railway Quarters was also booked under Sections 307 and 379-B of Indian Penal Code.

Avinash, who already has seven criminal cases against him, was released on bail from the local jail in July to prevent overcrowding amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The first case against him was registered in 2016. This is the fifth case of snatching against him.

Vinod Kumar faces four cases, including three snatchings. He was also released from jail two months ago. Both the accused became friends in the jail.

Vinod’s family members are also on run since he was booked in this case. Police sources said he took to crime to make easy money after the death of his father a few years ago.

Both the accused belong to poverty-stricken families.

POLITICIANS MAKE A BEELINE

Meanwhile, Kusum is getting free treatment at a private hospital in Jalandhar and people, including local politicians, are making a beeline to meet the gritty girl.

The local administration has given her Rs 51,000 as a reward and is recommending her name for state and national bravery awards.

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