A seven-year-old girl was killed after a youngster indiscriminately attacked her with a knife on platform No.10 at the Secunderabad railway station on Tuesday, even as other passengers watched in horror.
T. Priyadarshini, a class one student and a resident of Gangaputra Colony in Parsigutta and her paternal grandmother, Sattemma, had come to the railway station to go to their relative’s house in Sholapur to attend a marriage. The girl’s father, Srinivas, accompanied them to the station to help them board the Rajkot Express. Even as Srinivas went to buy tickets at a nearby counter, the attacker, a 21-year-old degree student K.Karan Kumar, reportedly suffering from physiological disorders, suddenly sprung on the girl, caught hold of her hands and started attacking her with a knife.
Other passengers on the platform took a few seconds to realise what the youngster was up to and tried to stop him. But brandishing his knife menacingly and holding on to the girl, who was now screaming, Kumar threatened to kill them, while many ran helter-skelter towards the Bhoiguda entrance. Utter confusion prevailed on the platform with several passengers screaming for help and others trying to catch the attacker. On receiving a message, the Railway police and the Railway Protection Force rushed to the platform.
After seeing the policemen, he pushed the girl aside and tried to run away, but a constable lunged onto him, snatched the knife first and caught hold of him. Irate passengers then bashed him up. The police immediately rushed the girl to the nearby Gandhi Hospital. However, the doctors declared her dead on arrival. Priyadarshini was the elder daughter of Srinivas and Sonu.
According to police, Kumar, hailing from Chittoor district, boarded a train at Arakkonam on the Andhra-Tamil Nadu border and came to Vijayawada. He then boarded another train to Secunderabad in the morning. Since then he was said to be loitering on the station premises. At around 2.25 p.m., he saw the girl along with her grandmother on the platform and attacked her. Secunderabad Railway Sub-Inspector P. Mahesh said the accused did not have any previous enmity with the girl’s family.
“We suspect that he was suffering from psychological disorders,” the SI said ruling out Kumar’s possible role in other attacks executed by a psycho elsewhere in the State. “We are verifying the footage in the surveillance cameras installed on the station premises. It could be helpful for us to collect more evidence against the accused. Two knives were seized from him,” the SI explained. The accused is currently in the custody of the railway police.