Kochi: A travel agency employee whose throat was slit by an irate client at the office on Tuesday was lucky to survive.
Surya Mohan (26) cannot speak as she lay in the intensive care unit of a hospital here a day after the brutal attack. Bleeding from the neck, she wrote down the answers to the questions that the assailant Jolly James (46) asked her after pinning her down. The police found the papers containing the answers with splatters of blood on them.
Jolly forced the woman, who ran out in fear of death, down on to a chair. Meanwhile, the knife that was used to attack the woman broke into two.
Surya, a native of Vandanmedu in Kattappana, has suffered grievous wounds on the throat and was operated upon in a private hospital. She was shifted here from the General Hospital where she was rushed to at first.
Police could not record her statement as she is unable to speak.
The wounded Surya had run to the restaurant nearby. The workers of the restaurant did not understand what had happened. The driver of the Ernakulam South police station, who happened to pass by at the time, had noticed it. The woman was taken to hospital soon.
Surya had joined the establishment as an employee a few months ago.
Jolly, who continued to remain in the area after the incident, was caught by the people in the area and handed over to the police.
The police arrested Jolly James of Perumpadappu in Palluruthy, on the charge of trespassing into the office and stabbing the woman employee.
The incident that shocked the city took place at 12 noon in the office of Ray’s Travel Bureau at Ravipuram Junction.
The police said Jolly entered the office and stabbed Surya in the throat.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, P Rajkumar, revealed later that the accused, Jolly, had arrived after he had made a plan. The accused waited for the owner of the travel agency, Mohammad Ali, for over half an hour in the office.
The ACP told Manorama News that the accused had forced the woman employee to call travel agency owner Mohammad Ali, a native of Aluva.
Ali was not present in the office at the time of the incident.
Ali refutes Jolly's claim
It is claimed that Jolly had given Rs 1.5 lakh to the agency five years ago for obtaining a job visa to Lithuania. He was angry as the money was not returned in full despite demanding it back several times.
Ali, meanwhile, rejected the statement of the accused, Jolly James, as untrue. Ali claims that he does not owe any money to Jolly and that the latter had not gone for the job abroad even after the visa had arrived.
"I had taken only Rs 35,400 for a visa. After the work permit was cancelled, the money was returned through the bank account in 2020," Ali claimed.
Police have recorded his statement.
Jolly said that the COVID-19 crisis had dashed his hopes and that for various reasons the visa could not be obtained even after the lockdown. Disputes following his demand to return the money led to the stabbing.
A team under the South police Inspector Faisal is investigating the case.