Gonda, October 14
One of the three minor sisters injured in an acid attack here was referred to a Lucknow hospital on Wednesday as traders downed shutters demanding an impartial probe into the incident.
The incident had taken place on Tuesday while the Dalit girls were sleeping on the terrace of their home at Gonda’s Paksa village.
According to police, the eldest of them, aged 17, was the prime target. The other two are seven and five years old.
Officials said accused Ashish, who had received a bullet injury in his leg following an exchange of fire with police on Tuesday night, is also undergoing treatment at the district hospital. Police said the youth was stalking the 17-year-old girl.
“He was arrested on Tuesday night in an encounter. He got injured in the encounter and is undergoing treatment at the district hospital,” Gonda Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey said.
Meanwhile, local markets remained closed with traders demanding an impartial probe into the incident.
Local Vyapaar Mandal general secretary Indal Kumar Dubey said, “The role of the Paraspur SHO seems suspicious. The entire incident should be impartially probed. An innocent person should not be framed.”
Acting Chief Medical Superintendent of the district hospital, Dr Indubala, said, “On the advice of the district administration, one of the girls has been referred to Lucknow’s King George’s Medical University for treatment. The two others are undergoing treatment in the district.”
Office-bearers of the Chaya Foundation, which works for the victims of acid attacks, had urged the district magistrate to shift the girl to Lucknow.
A sub-inspector and two constables are accompanying her to Lucknow.
Meanwhile, the accused’s mother, Laxmi Chaurasia, said her son has been wrongly framed as he was at his sister’s place in Bahraich (Biseswarganj) at the time of the incident.
She claimed that police picked eight members of her family and called up her son.
“If my son has done anything wrong, then he should be punished. If he is framed wrongly, then I will hang myself,” she said, stressing that she wanted to meet the UP chief minister.
However, Additional Superintendent of Police Mahendra Kumar rubbished her claims.
He said, “The allegations levelled by the mother of the accused are baseless. As per call data records, the accused had called the main victim a number of times. One of her younger sisters in her statement took his name.”
He said the accused fired at the police force after seeing a cordon outside his house.
“In retaliatory firing, the accused got a bullet injury in his leg. We have concrete proof that the accused threw acid on the girls,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a senior police officer had said the eldest sibling told them that the accused had been stalking her.
The 17-year-old girl, whose engagement was fixed for October 23, suffered eye injuries.
Taking note of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had directed the Gonda Superintendent of Police to take strict action against the culprit and ensure that such incidents are not repeated.
Condemning the incident, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav had targeted the state government over the law-and-order situation.
The BJP government is already facing criticism over the Hathras gangrape-murder case. PTI