Schoolgirl attacked with acid in west Delhi; 3 arrested

Victim admitted to Safdarjung Hospital with 8% burns on face, neck and eyes; police say main accused bought acid from e-commerce portal, planned attack after victim stopped speaking with him

December 15, 2022 01:23 am | Updated 01:23 am IST - New Delhi:

CCTV footage shows attackers flinging acid on the victim.

CCTV footage shows attackers flinging acid on the victim. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Two masked men threw acid on a 17-year-old girl, on her way to school, in west Delhi’s Dwarka Mor on Wednesday morning. The victim, who is admitted to Safdarjung Hospital’s burns ICU, has suffered 8% burns on her face, neck and eyes and is unable to speak or see properly, said sources. Delhi Police has arrested three people — Sachin Arora, 20, Harshit Agarwal, 19, and Virender Singh, 22 — for the attack.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order, Zone-2) Sagar Preet Hooda said Sachin and the victim used to live in the same neighbourhood and were friends. Sometime in September, the victim stopped talking to the accused. After being spurned repeatedly Sachin planned the attack with his friends Harshit and Virender, Mr. Hooda added.

A senior officer said Sachin was on the pillion and threw the acid, bought from an e-commerce portal through an e-wallet, on the victim’s face while Harshit was riding the motorcycle.

The officer added that the third accused — Virender — tried to mislead the police by wearing the same clothes as Sachin soon after the crime was committed, to create a false alibi for the main accused. The police have recovered the motorcycle and the acid used in the crime.

Sachin works at a wallpaper-manufacturing company, Harshit does packaging work in a private company and Virender works as a generator mechanic. They have been arrested under Section 326A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dwarka) M. Harsha Vardhan said the initial enquiry suggests that nitric acid was used in the crime and that a detailed forensic examination is being conducted to determine the exact nature of the substance.

‘Ran for help’

The victim’s father, a businessman and property dealer, said the incident took place five minutes after his daughters left for school around 7.30 am.

As soon as the victim was attacked, her younger sister, 13, a student of Class VIII, rushed home to inform her parents. “She kept crying. She told us that two men with covered faces came on a motorcycle, threw acid at her elder sister and sped away,” he said.

“Since the pain was excruciating, my daughter ran towards the nearby shops for help. One shopkeeper poured milk and water on her face,” he said, adding that the victim was taken to two hospitals before she was referred to Safdarjung Hospital.

“My daughter is in pain and suffering. Had I known that someone was planning to harm her, I would have taken care to drop her to the school myself,” the victim’s father also said.

Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital said that the girl was brought in around 9 a.m. with 8% chemical burns on her face and neck. “She is in the ICU; she’s stable and responsive. The chemical has gone into her eyes also,” a doctor at the hospital said.

‘Preparing for exams’

The victim’s aunt said the victim is a student of Humanities and had been preparing for various legal entrance examinations, including the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) scheduled on December 18. “She has been interested in pursuing law. She wants to become a judge,” she said.

On Wednesday, the victim was to appear for an internal exam at her school. The victim’s family hopes that she is able to appear for the exams, given the impact of the attack on her eyesight.

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