Plot thickens in Indian sports star's train fall mystery

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Old 27-Apr-2011
Plot thickens in Indian sports star's train fall mystery

New DelhiL The government railway police (GRP) has added a new twist to the accident involving national-level sportsperson Arunima Sinha by suggesting she may have tried to commit suicide.

Arunima, who played volleyball and football, was found lying near a railway track at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh with one her legs completely crushed on August 12 after allegedly being thrown out of a moving train the previous night for resisting a robbery bid. Her left leg had to be amputated to save her life.

The GRP, which came under fire for failing to adequately police moving trains, now claims the evidence collected fails to corroborate Arunima's story.

A.K. Jain, additional director-general of GRP in Uttar Pradesh, has said Arunima was disturbed when she boarded the Delhi-bound train and may have either met with an accident or tried to commit suicide.

Arunima told investigators she was on her way to Delhi's suburb Noida to attend a recruitment trial of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) when she was thrown out of the general compartment of Padmavat Express for resisting snatching of her gold chain.

No robbery

However, GRP said its investigations show there was no robbery bid made on August 11 since no other passenger had complained of it. It also said that the ITBP had no selection trial scheduled at Noida on August 12.

Arunima was travelling without any luggage which suggested her Delhi trip was not planned, said police. GRP claim she had an argument with her estranged husband Rovin Chitravanshi in a marriage that lasted less than three weeks.

Arunima said during a GRP interrogation at the All India Institute of Medical Science, where she is undergoing treatment, that she had stayed with her sister and brother-in-law before going to Lucknow's Charbagh station. But mobile phone records showed she visited her estranged husband's house perhaps, the GRP claim, seeking a reunion which was spurned.

The GRP also claimed she was found lying 16ft away from the track on which Padmavati Express had passed. They concluded that as the train stopped at Chanaiti railway station, 250m away from the spot where Arunima was found lying in a pool of blood, the train could not have been moving at a speed of more than 8kmp/h, which ruled out her being flung 16ft from the a slow moving train.

She was found lying on the other side of the down track, which makes the GRP believe that she may have either tried to commit suicide or met with an accident while trying to cross the track.

Suspicions have also been raised that the railway police may be trying to implicate her in a bid to hide its own failure to protect train passengers.

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