Srinagar acid attack case: Court frames charges against two accused

A court here has framed charges against two persons who were arrested for throwing acid on a woman in February in downtown city and the trial will begin from the end of this month.

The two accused were presented before Principal Sessions judge Jawad Ahmad, who framed charges under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 326-A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), officials said.

The trial will start at the end of this month, they said.

Expressing satisfaction over the development, Senior Superintendent of Police (Srinagar) Rakesh Balwal said the police will fight this case till the end and ensure that the victim gets justice.

“Our aim is that this case becomes a milestone in history for a speedy trial and punishment to the accused so that it acts as a deterrent for those harbouring such thoughts or having such tendencies,” Balwal said.

Advocate Mir Naveed Gul, who represents the victim, said the charges were framed against the accused persons involved in the acid attack on the 24-year-old woman.

“The principal sessions judge, Srinagar, without any delay, listed the matter on urgent basis. I appreciate the expeditious hearing of the case and the framing of charges,” he said.

The charge sheet was prepared in record time of three weeks by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Balwal was personally monitoring the case and had also constituted a Special Investigation Team headed by Superintendent of Police (North) Raja Zuhaib Tanveer. SDPO Mohammed Yasir Parray, SHOs Tasir Hamid, Owais Geelani and Sub-Inspector Shahista Mughal were its members.

The charge sheet has been filed against three people—Sajjad Altaf Rather, Mohammed Saleem Kumar and a juvenile, against whom the police want to press charges as an adult because of his involvement in the crime.

According to the charge sheet, the juvenile helped the police recover the black glass bottle that was used to throw acid on the victim’s face.

Police had also noticed injury marks on the upper side of the juvenile’s right hand. He was taken to a hospital for examination and the doctors opined that the injury was caused by some chemical substance.

“During the course of investigation, it also came to light that the victim had rejected the marriage proposal of the accused”. This angered the accused and he decided to “teach her a lesson” and “conspired to take revenge from the victim”.

The SIT also recorded separate statements of Rather and the juvenile about the route taken by them. Their statements were corroborated by obtaining CCTV footage.

Mobile phone records as well as locations of the accused have also been annexed with the charge sheet to corroborate the conspiracy angle in the case.

Rather, who is the main accused in the case, had returned to the medical store, where he was working as a salesman, after committing the crime.

The victim is undergoing treatment at a Chennai hospital and a businessman-turned-politician is bearing all expenses.