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Urban, Rural, Or In Transit? It’s Still Raptor and Prey

A commute home that ended in a nightmare of rape, death

Urban, Rural, Or In Transit? It’s Still Raptor and Prey
A.S. Satheesh
Urban, Rural, Or In Transit? It’s Still Raptor and Prey
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On February 1, 2011, a little after 8.30 pm, the commuters on the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train saw someone falling off the train just after it left Vallathol Nagar, near Shoranur, Kerala. One of the commuters said he had heard a woman’s cry for help as the train slunk into the night. The commuters reported the matter to the station master at Shoranur. Twenty-three-year-old Soumya’s naked body was found in the woods near the railway tracks. Unconscious and bleeding profusely, she was taken to the Thrissur Medical College where she succumbed to her injuries five days later.

Hailing from the small hamlet of Manjakkad near Shoranur, Soumya was working as a sales girl at a mall in Kochi. The “unsafe” city, she survived  for five years. It was in the countryside that she was stalked, ravaged and killed by a beast.  Soumya had boarded the ladies compartment of the passenger train that night at Kochi to go home. That compartment had emptied at Thrissur, and she found herself alone. With the passageway between the ladies compartment and the general compartments closed, “she had alighted from the train to get into the next bogie,” says her mother Sumathy, a household maid at Shoranur. “But even that was a ladies compartment and cut off from the rest of the train.” Also having boarded the train was Govindachamy from Tamil Nadu, whose left palm had been amputated. There was no railway personnel or police on that train.

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