The prime accused and his accomplice in the rape-and-murder case of two women on board two trains in Assam have been arrested, the police said.
The main accused, Bikash Das, was held from Tinsukia Railway Station on Thursday evening, while his accomplice Bipin Pandey was arrested from Dibrugarh-Bangalore Express at Banipur Station in the early hours of Friday, the police said.
“Culprits of both the heinous crimes on running trains at Simaluguri and Mariani have been apprehended and incriminating evidence recovered.
“We are committed to ensuring justice for citizens and the rule of law,” the Assam Police tweeted.
During interrogation, Das had named Pandey as his accomplice in both crimes after the Railway Police Force appprehended him yesterday.
Pandey, who hails from Bihar and is a rickshaw puller, was handed over to the police in Sivasagar district by the RPF, an officer said.
A student of the Assam Agricultural University in Jorhat was found dead in a toilet of the Kamakhya Express on July 10 while the body of an elderly woman was found in a toilet of the Avadh Assam Express on July 11 and both of them were found to have been killed in a similar manner.
Das had confessed before the RPF that he along with Pandey had strangulated both their victims with a ‘gamosa’ (Assamese scarf) after raping them and dumping their body in the toilet of empty train coaches.
RPF and police officials told reporters here that Das was apprehended when a security man noticed him at the Tinsukia station with a ‘gamosa’, the kind of cloth he had used to strangulate both victims.
Earlier Das used to run a tea-stall near the Tinsukia station and at present was selling clothes in trains.
He confessed that he was about to take a train to Furkating station to commit a similar crime but he was apprehended before he could do so, they said.
Mobile phones belonging to both the victims, the student’s earrings and her train ticket and one of the anklets of the elderly woman were recovered from Das, the officers said.
Das had taken advantage of coaches meant for physically challenged people, which are normally empty and often boarded by women.