For the past five months, a 13-year-old ‘acid-attack victim’ is battling for her life even after undergoing several surgeries in a Jharkhand hospital. A student of class eight, she was ‘forcefully’ made to ‘drink acid’ in Hazaribagh district while she was coming back from school in December last year. Unable to speak initially and after two months of treatment when she narrated the ordeal, a case was registered at Ichak Police Station under Hazaribagh district. Her family has spent Rs 10 lakh till date towards her recovery, but what pains them is that no arrests have been made even three months after registering the FIR.
The FIR was registered at Ichak Police Station of Hazaribagh district in February under IPC sections 341(Punishment for wrongful restraint), 342(Punishment for wrongful confinement), 354(outraging the modesty of a woman), 307( attempt to murder), 504(Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) against the accused and under POCSO Act.
The FIR stated that the minor stayed at her maternal grand father’s house in Hazaribagh and the accused frequently harassed her. Her family members even complained about the 25-year-old’s behaviour to his family. On December 19, while she was returning from her school, the accused forced acid down her throat.
“The accused pulled out a bottle of acid and poured it in my mouth…it was bleeding, I could not speak anything then…After two months I narrated my ordeal to my parents,” the FIR stated quoting the minor. Police later clarified that her statement is still not recorded as the complaint only had the minor’s signature, and that there was “no physical recording of statement”.
The discharge slip of Sadar Hospital, Hazaribagh on December 19 said “acid Ingestion”, and referred her to RIMS Ranchi in December. The private hospital too discharged her. However, family members said that the matter got complicated later and they had to move to AIIMS, Patna for further treatment.
But there is another angle to the story, say the police. Incharge of Ichak Police Station Inspector Nand Kishore Das said that their investigation has brought to fore contradictory facts. “People told us that the accused used to drop the minor on his motorcycle every day. And that this is some love affair…A problem occurred between them and that she drank acid( corrosive liquid) kept at her house for cleaning toilets. There was also a delay in registration of an FIR…We have gone for the arrests, but the boy is in the hiding,” he said.
However, the Inspector could not explain the delay in beginning the investigation. And the family members are upset with the police narrative. Speaking from a hospital in Ranchi, her father said, “My daughter is 13-year-old year old and it is a baseless allegation that she was in love with him. A false narrative is being played out back in the village. It is a case of an acid attack.”
“The reason that the police is even going for an investigation is because I sought monetary help from an MLA who in turn tweeted the issue and now Ranchi district administration are helping us. After their intervention there has been some movement…,” the father added.
On her medical condition, the father said: “The girl had three surgeries, she she vomitted blood in the last. I just hope she recovers.”
Sources in Ranchi District administration said that they did alert Hazaribagh for an update on investigation.
Hazaribagh SP Karthik S said: “We are investigating the case…we will reach into conclusion once the girl’s statement has been recorded.”
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