Gang rape victim in UP attacked fifth time in nine years

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Lucknow: A woman who was promised round-the-clock security by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after an acid attack in March was in a hospital here on Sunday after suffering another acid attack, police said.

The victim sustained burn injuries on the right side of her face and shoulder when unidentified miscreants hurled acid at her on Saturday night when she was going to take water from a hand pump at her hostel at Aliganj area.

Inspector General of Police Jai Narayan Singh said other hostel inmates rushed to her rescue when they heard her crying.

The inmates tried to trace the culprits but they had disappeared by then. The hostel has six feet high boundary walls.

The 45-year-old woman was admitted at the trauma centre of the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, where a police officer said she was in a serious condition and not in a position to give evidence.

This was the fifth attack on her in the last nine years, police said.

“She is in the trauma centre and not in a position to speak,” Additional Director General of Police Abhay Kumar told the media.

“The investigation has started. But the FIR will have to be filed by the family, whom we have informed about the incident,” he said.

Hours later, the police were yet to make any arrests. On suspicion, police detained Bhondu Singh and Guddu, the two reportedly accused by the victim, but they were found to be in Rae Bareli at the time of the incident.

The woman was first gang raped in 2008 over some property dispute. In 2012, some people attacked her with a knife.

In 2013, acid was thrown at her again. In December last year, some people threatened to rape her daughter as well.

On March 23 this year, she was forced to drink acid on the Ganga-Gomti Express train when it was plying between Allahabad and Lucknow.

Chief Minister Adityanath had gone to meet her at the hospital then and assured her security. However, the ordeal for the woman continues.

The latest attack on her ignited widespread condemnation, with critics blaming the Adityanath government for what they said was a virtual breakdown of law and order in Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Aggarwal said: “We had given the BJP six months time but things have become so bad in three months that it is clear there is no law and order in the state.”

Lakshmi Agarwal, founder of the “Stop Acid Attack” campaign and a victim herself of acid attack, said they were all hopeful when Adityanath met the victim the last time.

“We thought something will happen. But despite that the attackers had the audacity to enter the women’s hostel and attack her. I hold the government and police responsible for this.”

A resident of Rae Bareli, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, she works in a cafe run by acid attack survivors in Lucknow and lives in the hostel at Aliganj.

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