A*Star researcher slashed while using shortcut

THE Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has issued a circular to its staff advising them not to use a shortcut leading from Biopolis to Commonwealth MRT station, after one of its researchers was slashed there last Saturday night.

It stated that the 27-year-old woman was assaulted by an "unknown assailant" along a dim and derelict path linking Biomedical Grove to Commonwealth Drive.

The path cuts through the rail corridor, then passes through the vacant Tanglin Halt HDB estate, and is deserted at odd hours.

Police confirmed that a case of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon had occurred at about 10.15pm that night.

A spokesman said the victim was admitted to the National University Hospital for treatment.

It is understood that she had not been robbed.

The police have put up a "Crime Alert" board appealing for witnesses.

The suspect is still at large and investigations are ongoing.

An A*Star spokesman said yesterday that the victim is recovering from the attack. "We are deeply concerned for the safety of our staff and have advised them to avoid using the public footpath until further notice."

In its e-mail circular on Monday, A*Star encouraged staff to walk to Buona Vista MRT station instead of Commonwealth MRT station.

When The Straits Times visited the scene at about 6pm yesterday, there was a steady stream of office workers leaving Biopolis - a research and development hub - for the Commonwealth MRT station. Just over an hour later, the area was deserted.

A*Star researcher Li Wenhe, 29, told The Straits Times that his colleagues and others who work at Biopolis use the path because it provides a shortcut to Commonwealth MRT station. "But because nobody lives here now, it's very quiet and eerie," he said.

He hopes the authorities will install surveillance cameras or have police patrol the area.

His sentiment was echoed by many others, including Mr David Louey, 32, who runs the nearby Move to Live fitness gym.

"I finish at 9pm or 9.30pm, and I never go down there - I always walk to Buona Vista," he said.

"There are a lot of office workers who use that area - the Government has to do something."


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