Just over six months after the Supreme Court directed state governments to put in place stringent measures to curb acid attacks, one such assault has claimed its first victim in Bihar.
The 25-year-old woman with 65% acid burns succumbed at a hospital in Muzaffarpur district, 75km from Patna, on late Saturday evening.
She had been found abandoned in Mohanpur village of Sheohar district, said Sheohar superintendent of police Sunil Kumar said.
Kumar said preliminary findings reveal the victim was the daughter of one Arjun Yadav of Biratnagar (in Nepal) and was married to Navin Yadav of Chautahi village in Sitamarhi district last October.
"The marriage probably had turned sour and marital discord can be the reason behind the attack," he said.
The police have filed an FIR and started investigation.
This was the fifth recorded acid attack in Bihar in the past 14 months.
On January 22, two men had poured acid in the eyes of a dalit man, 22-year-old Ranjit Sada, after accusing him of theft, in Supaul area of north eastern Bihar.
Earlier, in October last year, failing in their attempt to molest a woman sleeping on a Samastipur railway station platform, some miscreants threw acid on her as retribution. She was badly injured in the attack.
Again in October last year, acid was poured on the private parts of a minor boy accused of theft by a scrap dealer in Sohrai locality of Nalanda.
In December 2012, a mob poured acid in the eyes of an alleged history sheeter, Munna Thakur, and his nephew, at Hingna village in Araria district. The mob had accused Thakur of terrorising them.
To put a stop to the growing number of acid attacks, the Supreme Court in July last year clamped down on the sale of the toxic liquid and also ordered higher compensation for the victims.
The top court told the government to make illegal sale and purchase of acid a non-bailable offence. A bench of justice RM Lodha and justice SJ Mukopadhyaya also ordered states to pay Rs. 3 lakh as after-care and rehabilitation cost to acid attack victims within two months.
Of the money, Rs. 1 lakh will have to be given within 15 days of the incident.
In the aftermath of the December 16, 2012 fatal gang rape, the government had amended the Indian Penal Code, making acid attack an offence punishable with 10 years to life imprisonment.