Rathore was coming out of the court and approaching his car when a young man, Utsav Sharma, lunged forward and stabbed him several times on the face.
Sharma stabbed Rathore repeatedly on his right cheek. The former Haryana police chief fell even as some police personnel and lawyers pushed the attacker and restrained him.
The 68-year-old former police officer covered the knife wounds with a handkerchief before being taken to a hospital. He is stated to be out of danger.
The attacker has been arrested and is being interrogated by a team of police officials.
Sharma is reported to be studying film production in Ahmedabad and belongs to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
His parents are professors at Benaras Hindu University.
While his father Prof SK Sharma teaches mechanical engineering, mother Dr Indira Sharma is with the psychiatry department.
Condemning the attack, Ruchika’s friend Aradhna Prakash Gupta, who is the sole witness of her friend’s molestation by Rathore, said the attack seemed to a manifestation of public anger.
But she also requested that no one should break the law.
“For 19 and half years we have always been doing within law. So I would like to request people if they are getting outraged then please stay within law and we should wait for the judiciary to take its decision and nobody should take law in their hands. So it is really not appreciated. It seems like an act of public outrage because they are aware of this case and obviously still Rathore has not been punished so, yes maybe it’s just because of that,” she said.
Rathore along with his lawyer and wife Abha had come to the court for in-camera hearings in two pleas related to the molestation of teenager Ruchika Girhotra.
The in-camera trial will basically hear enhancing of Rathore’s sentence, and charges on him of abetting Ruchika to commit suicide.
The CBI had last week questioned the six-month sentence given to Rathore for molesting Ruchika. Ruchika’s family filed fresh FIRs charging him with abetment to suicide.