Uttar Pradesh gangrape victim attacked fifth time in nine years

Francis Osborne
July 5, 2017

The victim was first acid attacked in 2011 followed by other serious attacks again in 2011, twice in 2012 and another in 2013. The attacker fled the scene "after being splashed with acid", explained to the AFP Vivek Tripathi, the chief of the local police. Despite the Supreme Court's diktat to curb acid sales, and UP CM Yogi Adityanath's supposed commitment to ensuring women's safety, and police protection for the woman, nothing much seems to have improved.

Around 45 Dalit and Adivasi activists from across Gujarat, carrying 125 kilograms of soap bars and a Buddha idol to hand to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, were detained and deported back to Gujarat yesterday.

According to police, the 35-year-old woman said her assailants scaled the walls of her hostel and scalded her with acid on Saturday, leaving her with burns on her face and neck.

"Despite all these, how did this incident take place?" he said.

The series of attacks on the woman began in 2009 when two men had allegedly raped and attacked her with acid over a property dispute in her home at Unchahar, 100 kilometres from Lucknow.

The latest attack on her ignited widespread condemnation, with critics blaming the Adityanath government for what they said was a virtual breakdown of law and order in Uttar Pradesh. The police said that those arrested had planned to demonstrate against the state government, which could have caused law and order problem. She wrote the complaint as she could not speak.

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He said an empty bottle had been found inside the bathroom from where the woman emerged just before the alleged attack.

The police, meanwhile, claimed that none of the eyewitnesses had seen anyone throwing acid or running away.

Police said the activists were trying to take out a rally, which they did not have permission to do. "I was there outside", constable Sandeep said.

There were 61 reported acid attacks in Uttar Pradesh alone in the same year, the highest number of any region in the country. "The BJP government fears a dalit uprising", he alleged.

However, as soon as the activists from Gujarat crossed the Uttar Pradesh border, the railway police entered their train, herded all the 43 activists into one compartment and made them get off at Jhansi, said Martin Macwan, a Dalit rights leader from Gujarat who helped organise the protest. Officials, however, have implied that the attack might have been staged by the woman herself.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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