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Police find loopholes in athlete Arunima's case

Last updated on: April 26, 2011 17:22 IST

A probe by the Government Railway Police has found loopholes in the version given by athlete Arunima Sinha, who lost her leg after being thrown out of a train by robbers in Bareilly. Arunima is currently receiving treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, where she was shifted on Aril 18 at the behest of the Union government.

"Our investigations have revealed that Arunima's story has many inconsistencies", additional director general of police (railways) A K Jain told mediapersons on Tuesday. 

"We have reason to suspect that she suffered the injuries either in an attempt to commit suicide or she met with an accident , but chose to blame it on crimes committed in trains", the official said.

A resident of Ambedkar Nagar, Arunima was pushed out of the general compartment of Padmawati Express for resisting a chain-snatching attempt by some hoodlums, while travelling from Lucknow to Delhi in the early hours of April 12.

Jain said, "Arunima's version does not match with the investigations carried out by the railway police. It appears that she has been providing us with falsified facts. However, we are still to find out her motive.

He added, "Contrary to her claim, Arunima never had any test scheduled for entry into the Central Industrial Security Force on April 12. She had left her home in a huff after being rebuked by her estranged husband in Lucknow."

"Her version that her lft leg was overrun by a train on the parallel track after she was flung out of the general compartment of the train, could not be taken on face value. This is because the as the distance at which she was found lying in an unconscious state by the cops was far more than where she could have fallen in the event of being pushed out," he said.

Arunima's version -- that the speed of the train was very fast -- was also found to be "untrue" as after halting for 12 minutes at Chanaiti Railway Station in Bareilly, Padmavat Express had moved only 250 meters, where the speed could not have been more than eight km/hour, according to the investigators.

The investigators believe that Arunima had crossed the railway line.

Claiming that her visit to Delhi was unplanned, the investigators said that Arunima was in touch with her brother-in-law Om Prakash Tripathi till 2.30 am while she was at Charbagh Station in Lucknow on April 10.

According to her mobile records, before coming to the station, she made a call to her friend Sanjay in New Delhi from Kursi road.

Sanjay had told the police that Arunima was disturbed and suddenly made a plan to visit Delhi.

Arunima had claimed that she had lost her leg after she was pushed out of Padmavat Express in Bareilly on April 11 by three men trying to snatch her gold chain, while she was travelling to Delhi to appear for an examination.

When asked about the police's view, Arunima said that she was being "mentally harassed".

"I don't know whether the police are with me or against me. I was going to the CISF office in Noida to enquire about the physical exam scheduled on May 7 and to ensure a correction in my date of birth in the call letter I have received," Arunima said.

"Some persons tried to snatch my chain; one of them hit me on the abdomen...and I fell", Arunima said.

When asked how she landed 16 feet away from track, the athlete said, "I was not so far. But I don't remember whether my foot came under Padmavat Express on any other train". She also stated that she was not going to appear in the entrance exams for the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

Besides losing her leg, Arunima also sustained injuries on her spine and pelvic.

The police had lodged an FIR under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 393 (attempt to loot) against unidentified youths in this connection.

With additional reportage from PTI

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow