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Acid attack victim passes away

- Newly married molested, husband role under lens

A 25-year-old woman succumbed on Saturday to burn injuries she suffered in an acid attack a day before in Sheohar district.

The woman, stated to be a resident of Biratnagar in Nepal, died at Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur around 7.30 on Saturday evening. Police said the newly married woman was found unconscious near Mohanpur Sareh village under the jurisdiction of the Piprahi police station in Sheohar. She was subsequently admitted to the Muzaffarpur-based hospital for treatment.

Sheohar superintendent of police Sunil Kumar said Biratnagar (Nepal) resident Arjun Yadav had married off his daughter to one Navin Yadav, a resident of Mohanpur village, in October last year. The parents of the acid attack victim have been informed about the incident, he said.

The victim was allegedly abducted by seven persons from Mohanpur Sareh and taken to a deserted place where two of them attempted to outrage her modesty. The perpetrators of the crime poured acid on her when she resisted the rape attempt.

The police did not rule out the involvement of the husband of the deceased in the incident. “The role of the victim’s husband is being probed because he neither turned up at the hospital nor the police station after the incident. He is absconding after the matter came to the light,” Piprahi police station house officer R.K. Mandal said.

The SHO said a complaint had been lodged against unidentified persons on the basis of the statement of the village chaukidar because the woman was found unconscious and was not in a condition to give her statement. She, however, hinted at the involvement of seven persons in her abduction and subsequent ordeal, he added.

The incident has come to the fore within a year of a new law, which prescribed harsher punishment for the offenders of such crime. The new law has defined the acid attack as a separate cognisable offence under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and proposed punishment not less than 10 years and fine up to Rs 10 lakh.

According to the records available at the state police headquarters, as many as 15 cases of acid attacks were reported from different parts of the state in the past year. The latest in the series was reported from Supaul district. Some influential people poured acid on 22-year-old Dalit youth Ranjit Sada after branding him a thief. The victim suffered serious injuries in his eyes. Two persons — Ramanand Yadav and Bikas Yadav— were arrested.

Expressing concern over the spurt in the incidents of acid attack in the recent past, a senior officer posted at the police headquarters said: “All the station house officers have been apprised of the new law. They have been asked to ensure the perpetrators of crime are booked under the relevant sections of the IPC.”