Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gulbarga train was burned to kill lovers: Railway police

TNN | Oct 21, 2012, 04.19AM IST
GULBARGA: The Gulbarga train fire which claimed two lives on October 16 has turned murky, with the investigating railway policefinding that the dead couple had their hands and feet tied.

It now appears that the fire which gutted two bogies of the Falaknuma passenger train and injured six others, might not have been an accident or an act of vandalism, but a deliberate hate crime targeted at the young couple in love.
Couple's hands and feet were tied
A witness to the events in the stationary train, Naseema, 40, told police that four persons barged into the bogie, closed the window shutters and poured kerosene before setting the bogie on fire. "The girl's body was found with her hands and legs tied with her dupatta (veil) and the boy's body was found in a position as if his hands and legs were tied with a rope. Before fleeing, the four miscreants cried "Chal be chal, kaam ho gaya!" indicating that the foursome had a hand in setting alight the boy and girl," said a senior police officer. The police, however, are awaiting their postmortem reports before declaring it a hate crime.

Police confirmed that the two burnt bodies were of Varsha, 18, a PU student at the Government Women's College in the city, and of Sharanappa, 28, a goods auto driver. His auto was lying unattended at the railway station parking lot for 48 hours after the incident.

Varsha's father Shankarappa said he was aware that the duo used to frequent the train, which stops at Gulbarga station between 12.30pm and 4pm, before its onward journey to Sholapur. Varsha had fallen in love with Sharanappa and it was their routine for the past one year to sit in the near-empty bogie of the train every day.

When TOI spoke to Shankarappa, a Class IV employee at Yadgir zilla panchayat, he said he had filed a missing person complaint about his daughter at the women's police station in the city. He had later identified his daughter's body by the remnants of her burnt clothes, and some pieces stuck on the bogie walls. He also identified her tiffin box and ornaments (earrings and a ring) she was wearing. The body was cremated after postmortem.

A shocked Shankarappa said he has no idea who would commit such a heinous act. Sharanappa was their neighbour at Tarfail for the past one year.


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