Days after Hathras horror, three Dalit sisters attacked with acid in UP’s Gonda

No arrest so far in the case in a state notorious for acid attacks, as per NCRB figures

Delhi acid attack on schoolgirl
The attack has exposed just how easily anyone can buy acid in the country (image: iStock)

Days after the horrific Hathras case, three Dalit sisters aged 8, 12 and 17 years were attacked with inflammable liquid, possibly acid used in cleaning toilets, while they were sleeping inside their house in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district on Tuesday (October 13), said police. There has been no arrest in the case as yet.

Uttar Pradesh is notorious for acid attacks on women. In 2018, UP stood second with 40 such attacks across the country, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report.

The police said the preliminary inquiry suggested that the inflammable liquid was thrown from the open window of the house. The eldest sister suffered serious injuries on face and chest while two other sisters have minor injuries on hands. The three sisters have been admitted to the Gonda district hospital where they are being treated and investigation is underway.

The officials confirmed the three sisters are from Dhobi community and fall under the Scheduled Caste category.


Related news: Another Dalit panchayat president faces caste discrimination in TN

A police officer at DGP headquarters in Lucknow said the incident took place in Paska village under Paraspur police station limits of Gonda at around 2.30 am on October 12-13. He said the initial probe revealed that the girls were sleeping in the room on the second floor of the house and the attacker climbed up to throw acid from the open window.

He said the attacker was aware of the family and knew that the girls slept in a room on the second floor. He said the police team is yet to trace the attacker and reason behind the crime. The eldest girl, the officer added, would probably help in tracing the accused and clarify the reason behind the attack.

Acid attacks are registered under Section 326 A of the Indian Penal Code, with a minimum punishment of 10-year imprisonment. Compared to 2017 the number of people convicted for acid attacks in 2018 was higher at 28. In 2017, 20 men were convicted whereas in 2018 the number was 28 — 23 males and five females.