April 8th, 2010

Train assault and robbery (Mandovi Express)

Nitasha Natu, TNN, Apr 8, 2010, 01.47am IST
MUMBAI: A Portuguese national was physically attacked and robbed of her handbag containing travel money and documents aboard the Mandovi Express, which terminates at CST, on Tuesday night. Anna Maria D’Souza (25), who sustained injuries on her throat and neck after the attack, is a student from Carcavelos in Portugal and was returning to Mumbai after a brief stay in Goa.

“Around 9.30 am, we [the victim and a friend] boarded the Mandovi Express from Margao in Goa. We had reserved two seats. Around 8.55 pm, I went to the common wash-basin. At the time, I was carrying my handbag with me.’’

As D’Souza was returning to her seat, a man standing near the door of the train gestured to her. “I had seen this man all along. When he said ‘Madam, come here,’ I thought there was a problem. I approached him to find out what was wrong. But he suddenly lunged at my throat,’’ said D’Souza. The assailant snatched her handbag and jumped off the train as it slowed down before Thane station. “Had I not grabbed the compartment door for support, I would certainly fallen off.’’

D’Souza’s handbag contained Rs 2,000, her Portuguese passport, visa, debit card, identity-card, a Sony camera valued at Rs 10,000 and a cellphone. When the train finally pulled into Dadar station, she approached a home guard who directed her to the Dadar GRP chowky.

D’Souza returned to London on Wednesday.