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Acid attack: Army jawan arrested after eight years

Santosh Kumar Bedanta, the jawan arrested by Odisha Police in connection with a 2009 acid attack. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The Odisha police on Sunday arrested an Army jawan eight years after he allegedly threw concentrated nitric acid on the face of a girl who had turned down his proposal. The girl was left blinded in both eyes in the attack.

The Jagatsinghpur district police arrested Santosh Kumar Bedanta from a hideout in Kolkata.

“We have formally arrested the jawan after interrogating him about the incident. Police will seek at least 5 days of remand of the accused from court,” said Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police Jainarayan Pankaj.

The arrest of the solider is a significant breakthrough for the police as the case was closed in 2012 due to “lack of clues.”

The incident took place in 2009 when the jawan, hailing from Jorgadia village in Bhadrak district, was deployed in Tirtol area of Jagatsinghpur for election duty. According to the police, the accused was enraged after the girl, Pramodini Roul, (then 17) turned down his proposal. With the help of a person, Bedanta poured acid on Pramodini while she was returning home during the evening hours.

“The Jagatsinghpur district police after getting concrete intelligence and evidence in August this year made a prayer to the court to reopen the case. The court also allowed the plea for issuing non-bailable warrant against the accused apart from permission to reopen the case,” said Mr. Pankaj.

The main accused was posted in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. Recently a team of Jagatsinghpur police visited Srinagar and Kupwara to arrest the accused, but he had already left the camp by the time police reached there. The police finally tracked him in Kolkata. His accomplice was also arrested from Nayagarh district on Saturday.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 7:02:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/acid-attack-army-jawan-arrested-after-eight-years/article20945124.ece

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