Hundreds protest over acid attack on student

At a time when focus of media is on state elections, a shocking incident in which two youths splashed acid on a 21-year-old law student disfiguring her face and eyes outside her college in Srinagar on Thursday, has created a wave of anger and anxiety among people.

Hundreds of people, especially students, on Friday hit the streets demanding arrest and stern action against the culprits.

Amid boycotting classes, students staged a massive protest in Kashmir University and at Press Enclave near Lal Chowk demanding immediate arrest of the assailants.

“Stop violence against women”, “Hang the attackers”, “Arrest the attackers” and “Stop acid attacks” read the placards held by both boys and girls. “How can you live in society and remain indifferent towards such horrible attacks?” a girl law graduate, who was part of the protest, said.

The protesters alleged that the government neither checks the ledger of acid sellers nor takes measures to prevent such attacks. Social activists and lawyers, who were also part of the protest, urged upon police to nab the culprits without wasting time.

They claimed police were too busy with the polls to take any action against the culprits. Even after more than 24 hours of the incident, police have failed to identify and arrest the culprits.
Inspector General Police, Kashmir, Abdul Ghani Mir said they have constituted a special investigation team and are using all the resources to track them down.However, a senior police official told Deccan Herald that the attackers might have already fled the Valley.

“The victim doesn’t know the identification of the attackers. We have spoken to her but she couldn’t identify the culprits. We remain clueless,” he said. 

Both separatists as well as mainstream political parties have condemned the incident and urged police to immediately arrest the culprits.

From Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to opposition PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, all have condemned the incident.

Police said at 10.30 am on Thursday, when the girl was on her way to college, youths on a a white Maruti 800 threw acid on her face near Tawheedabad-Nowshera in the Srinagar suburbs. 

The unidentified assailants believed to be two in number used a car that had no number plate but ‘MANSA’ pasted on its rear windscreen.

This is the second acid attack in Srinagar in the last two years. In January 2013, a 30-year-old private school teacher was the victim of a similar attack in Baghat-Barzulla area.

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