Two men have been arrested for the rapes and murders of two women found dead in the toilets of trains in Assam earlier this week.
Bikas Das (40), who ran a tea shop and worked as a hawker, and Bipin Pandey, an auto rickshaw driver, have confessed to their role in the rapes and murders, according to police.
“Das was nabbed from the New Tinsukia railway station as he waited to board another train on July 12. Pandey was apprehended from a train in Dibrugarh, early morning on July 13,” said B S Meena, divisional security commissioner, Tinsukia, Raliway Special Protect Force.
Police had registered rape cases after finding what appeared to be “semen stains” on the victims’ clothes. Investigators are awaiting autopsy reports to confirm sexual assault.
Both the accused were handed over to the government railway police, Assam, which arrested them and is interrogating them about the motive.
In the first incident, a 21-year-old student of Assam Agricultural University hailing from Bihar was found strangled in the toilet of a compartment reserved for differently-abled people on the New Tinsukia-Rangiya Express on Tuesday.
Her body was found by a sweeper at Simaluguri station around 9.15 am, barely 20 minutes after she had boarded the train from Sivasagar.
A gamosa — a traditional Assamese handwoven towel — was found tied around her neck.
In the second incident, the body of a 48-year-old woman, who also hailed from Bihar, was found from the toilet of a compartment reserved for differently-abled people on the Awadh-Assam Express at Jorhat’s Mariani Junction around 2.15 pm on Wednesday, two stations away from New Tinsukia. In her case too, a gamosa was found tied around the neck.
According to BS Meena, the 48-year-old was murdered between Dibrugarh and New Tinsukia stations.
“Das was seen getting off the train at New Tinsukia station which helped us to zero in on him,” he said, adding that Das then told police about Pandey, whose description matched with details provided by the 21-year-old victim’s mother.
A cell phone, belonging to the 21-year-old victim, railway ticket from Sivasagar to Furkating station in Golaghat, and jewellery belonging to the 48-year-old victim were recovered from Das and identified as the victims’ by their families.