New Delhi: Three men have been arrested in the Wednesday morning acid attack on a 17-year-old girl in west Delhi, police said. They are currently being interrogated to ascertain the motive behind the attack, they said.
Two masked men on a bike threw acid on a school girl minutes after she left her west Delhi home for school. The girl is battling serious injuries at Safdarjung Hospital’s burn ICU. Earlier, the teen, who was with her younger sister when the attack took place at Mohan Garden near Uttam Nagar, had named two persons who could be responsible for the attack. Of them, one had earlier been detained by police, according to DCP (Dwarka) M Harsha Vardhan.
Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda said the main accused, Sachin Arora, 19, and his associates Harshit and Virender Singh have been arrested. “During the probe, it has been found that the accused procured acid from Flipkart. Further investigation is on,” he said.
He said, “Harshit was on the bike with Sachin. Virender is involved in the conspiracy. We have recovered the bike and a mobile phone. The acid was ordered on Flipkart and payment was made online by Sachin. As per our information, Sachin and the girl were friends, and lived in the same locality. Around 2-3 months ago, she ended the friendship and stopped talking to him. He was enraged and planned to do this. Virender tried to mislead the police and create a false alibi for Sachin. He wore similar clothes, took Sachin’s phone, and stood with a bike at another spot. The acid-like substance will undergo a chemical examination.”
“She has suffered 7-8% facial burns and her eyes have also been affected. She has been admitted to the burn ICU and is stable,” said a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital.
As outrage spread over the acid attack, women's groups and others, including Lt Governor VK Saxena, raised questions on the availability of acid in markets despite a ban and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked how the accused could have gathered so much courage.
NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to personally intervene in the matter and to ensure the arrest of the accused at the earliest.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) questioned where the accused had procured the acid-like substance, as the same is banned for sale.
Meanwhile, the victim's father said he had no clue who could have done such a thing and insisted his daughter never complained about any harassment.
Minutes after she left her west Delhi home to go to school with her sister, the girl was attacked with acid by two masked bike-borne men.
Her sister rushed back home to inform her parents about the incident, while some shopkeepers helped her wash off the acid with milk.
Waiting outside the burns ward of Safdarjung Hospital where she is undergoing treatment, her father told reporters that her sister was with her at the time and they both were going to school.
“My daughter left home at 7.30 am. As soon as she crossed the street, she was attacked. The incident happened within 6-7 minutes of her leaving the house. My youngest daughter had gone along with her and then came running to us,” he told reporters.
Recalling the morning trauma, her mother said her younger daughter came running to her and asked for her father.
“She could not explain and started crying, and asked her father to rush with her,” she said.
This [acid attack] cannot be tolerated at all. How did the accused gather so much courage? The accused should be given the strictest punishment. The safety of every girl child in Delhi is important to us.
—Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister
It is unfortunate that despite repetitive recomme-ndations of the commission, the retail sale of acid is not banned. Acid is being sold openly in markets, unchecked. In fact, it is as easy to obtain acid as it is to purchase vegetables!
—Swati Maliwal, Delhi Commission For Women chief
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