Police have booked a minor girl in an acid attack case in which nine women were injured on Monday during a clash over a land dispute at Bhuhi village in Punjab’s Kapurthala district.
Kapurthala police registered a case against Nirmal Singh, his wife Rajwinder Kaur, his minor daughter and mother Ratan Kaur under sections 307, 326 and 148B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the complaint of village sarpanch Vinod Sehgal.
“We will amend the section after examining the date of birth (of the girl) before the arrest,” deputy superintendent of police Diljeet Singh said.
Main accused Nirmal was arrested from the spot on Monday and produced in a local court on Tuesday afternoon.
Police are yet to trace the shop from where the acid used in the attack even its open sale has been banned by the state government.
India made acid attacks a separate class of crime in 2013. The courts have promised free medical treatment and the government has moved to stop the free sale of acid but such attacks continue unabated.
DSP Singh said as per preliminary investigation it has been found that Rajwinder brought the acid to the spot. “We will question Kaur, who is undergoing treatment from acid injuries, after she gets discharged from the civil hospital,” he said.
According to sources, Nirmal and his wife Rajwinder have filed a case in the Punjab and Haryana high court claiming the ownership of the disputed land two years ago and the case is still pending.
They said the panchayat in Bhuhi village started constructing a community hall and had enrolled some Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) workers to finish the work. But as soon as work began, the family of four led by Nirmal reached the spot and claimed ownership over the land.
Police officials said that before the attack Nirmal and his family exchanged heated arguments with panchayat members and attacked the MNREGA workers with acid when they refused to stop the work.
Eight women as well as the wife of the village head, who was present at the spot, were injured in the attack. Village sarpanch Sehgal’s wife sustained serious facial injuries and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Jalandhar.
Civil surgeon HS Kahlon said that the condition of all the victims is stable now and three have been discharged from the government hospital.