Johnson (20) , a painter by profession and a daily-wage labourer, was on his way to the station to board a train to go home when the incident happened. On Monday night, this heroic man of Baba Koil Street, Maraimalai Nagar, was crossing the tracks below the road overbridge near Pallavaram railway station- Chennai, when he heard a woman, breastfeeding her child, crying out for help.

a Government Railway Police officer said “During our investigation we learnt that a group of four men were molesting the fruit vendor – a 30-year-old woman. They pulled her hand repeatedly. When Johnson noticed it, he rushed to her help, He punched Karthik (one of the four youth) and managed to save the woman, who rushed back to her child and then went home”

Karthik then reportedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Johnson, who fell down. Karthik and the others stabbed Johnson repeatedly and left him in a pool of blood. The incident took place around 9 pm but the passers-by noticed the youth lying amidst the bushes at the northern end of Pallavaram station’s platform much later and informed the police.

The four suspects — Karthik, Sathish, ‘nondi’ Sullan and another man who is yet to be identified — are at large. Police say they were drunk at the time and only minutes before this incident, the four of them had assaulted Ramamurthy (25), before stealing Rs. 5,000 and a mobile phone from him.

Police was also heard saying, ” It is clear that Johnson’s gesture helped the woman get away. She possibly could even have seen the victim being assaulted, perhaps not very well, as she was at a distance.”