Two chargesheets filed in Srinagar acid attack case

Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday filed two separate charge sheets against three accused including a juvenile in the recent acid attack on a woman in downtown city, officials said.

While a 1000-page charge sheet against the two adults was filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, the other was submitted before the Juvenile Justice Board with the police making a plea for treating the juvenile as an adult because of the heinous nature of the crime, the officials said.

They said the charge sheets were filed within three weeks of the incident to ensure swift and exemplary punishment to the accused and to deter those who may be having such “barbaric” tendencies.

On February 1, a man accompanied by a juvenile allegedly threw acid on a 24-year-old woman after she rejected his marriage proposal, an incident that shook entire Srinagar and drew widespread condemnation from across society.

After initial treatment in Srinagar, the victim was sent to a Chennai eye hospital for specialised treatment.

The officials said the accused, Sajad Ahmad and Mohd Saleem, and the juvenile were charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 326-A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) of the IPC.

Earlier, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar had told PTI that the investigation is nearly complete and they would soon conclude the process by filing a charge sheet in this case.

He had appealed to girls and their parents to inform the police at an early stage if any miscreant is stalking or harassing them so that action can be taken.

Giving a rundown of the probe into the incident, Senior Superintendent of Police (Srinagar) Rakesh Balwal, a 2012-batch IPS officer from Manipur, had said, “As we received the information (about the incident), a special team was immediately constituted and we were able to nab the culprits within 24 hours of the shocking incident.” In her police statement, the woman gave details of the clothes worn by the accused. A police team rushed to the residence of the accused and found those clothes concealed in a bed cavity, he said.

Initially, the main accused gave wishy-washy answers to police on the procurement of sulfuric acid. After he finally named the shop from where he got the acid, it was sealed for violating the Supreme Court guidelines on the storage and sale of acids.

“The main accused tried to mislead us on the procurement of acid, claiming that he had taken it out from the battery of his inverter at home, but a search conducted at his residence negated his theory.

“Finally, he gave us the name of his friend who used to work in a repair shop and our police team nabbed him too,” said Balwal, who was recently appointed as SSP (Srinagar) and has worked on various cases in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Pulwama terror attack, during his stint with the National Investigation Agency.

The police accessed CCTV footage from shops around the area where the incident occurred to nail the culprits in the case.