Punjab: Nine women injured in acid attack over land dispute
Nine women were injured in an acid attack in Punjab’s Kapurthala district on Monday after a heated dispute over panchayat land turned ghastly.
Sources 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, a family of four led by local resident Nirmal Singh reached the spot and claimed ownership over the land, locals said.
As bickering mounted, Singh, his wife and daughter hurled acid at the five workers. All eight were injured in the attack and the wife of the village head, who was present, was also hurt, police said. The injured women have been admitted to the Kapurthala civil hospital. Sources said the village chief’s wife sustained serious facial injuries.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rajinder Singh said that it was a deliberate attack as Nirmal had brought the acid and threw it on women with a sprayer. “Nirmal exchanged heated arguments with panchayat members and attacked the MNREGA workers with acid when they refused to stop the work.”
The SSP said that attempt to murder and other charges were pressed against Nirmal, his wife, mother and daughter. Nirmal was arrested from the spot.
The incident comes barely two days after a woman constable was attacked with acid in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district and brings the focus back on a menace that has dogged Indian society for decades.
Every year, hundreds of similar attacks are reported against women who spurn sexual advances, marriage proposals or caught in community crossfire.
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.