Deepender Deswal, TNN May 28,
ROHTAK: Acid seems to have become the new weapon in the hands of criminals in Haryana. Already infamous for its skewed sex ratio and high female foeticide rate, the state has seen a wave of acid attacks against women, even prompting the Punjab and Haryana high court to order a CBI inquiry into one of such case involving three schoolgirls.
Unidentified accused had thrown acid on three schoolgirls — two of them class 10 students and third in class 12 — when they were returning home from tuition classes in Sector 1 in Rohtak last year. While the accused are still to be identified, the HC has handed over the investigations to CBI.
Saturday’s daylight attack on a budding volleyball player in a bustling Rohtak street is 5th such incident in Haryana in a one year span. The motive in all the five incidents — in Rohtak, Sonipat, Kelram village of Kaithal district and Ambala — seems to be similar as the accused resorted to this brutal form of assault to take revenge on girl who had “dared” to snub him. According to police officers, in most cases, acid attacks have been used as revenge on girls who spurned advances of friendship or marriage by the accused.
Two victims had succumbed to acid burns. Paramjit Kaur, 30, was attacked when she was asleep, in Kelram village on May 23 and had succumbed to burns in a Karnal hospital on Friday. Another 17-year-old girl, Kiran, of Sonipat town, died of acid burns inflicted on her by two youths, including one who had been stalking her and pressurizing her to marry him, on July 13, 2011.
“It’s a reflection of the brutal male mentality where the accused took rejection as an insult. They found a soft target in the girl and attacked her with acid to deface her,” said Sandeep Kumar, a psychologist at Guru Jambheshwar University in Hisar. A mixture of psycho-social and sexual factors, like negative feelings, bias towards females, mental sickness and peer pressure could be the driving force behind the accused taking such extreme steps, he said.
Prof Promila Batra, head of psychology department at Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, said the accused are impulsive and aggressive and unable to think about the consequences of their act.
Police failure to effectively tackle such incidents is also responsible for the repeat of such attacks. “The accused in such cases should be tried under stricter law and punishment, too, must be exemplary,” said a police official. “Easy availability of acid and even easier use (throwing it while driving) is alluring for such accused, who take a sadistic pleasure by leaving a permanent scar on their victims while taking the revenge,” he added.
May 27, 2012: Two biker youths throw acid on volleyball player Ritu Saini, 18, in busy Prem Nagar Chowk area of Rohtak and speed away
May 23, 2012: Paramjit Kaur, 30, attacked by a man, stated to be her relative, while she was asleep in her house in Kelram village of Kaithal, along with her two children. While she succumbed to her injuries, her 10-year-old son is struggling for life with 35% burns
July 13, 2011: Kiran, 17, dies in Sonipat after two youths on motorcycle throw acid on her. She had rejected the marriage proposal of main accused, Sanjay
June 18, 2011: Unknown assailants throw acid on three schoolgirls when they were returning home from tuition classes in Rohtak