A 19-year-old man was arrested after a brief exchange of fire on Wednesday for allegedly throwing chemical, suspected to be acid, on three Dalit sisters, aged 8, 12, and 17 early on Tuesday morning in Gonda district,the police said.
Gonda additional superintendent of police (ASP) Mahendra Kumar said the accused, Ashish Chaurasiya alias Chotu, had been “troubling” the eldest sister for quite some time and pressuring her to talk to him. He lived near the girls’ house in Paska town.
“Police launched a search for the accused and late evening [on Tuesday], a police team saw him [Chaurasiya] arriving on a motorcycle. His bike slipped when he saw the police jeep and he opened fire at police, and police personnel retaliated in self-defence during which the accused got injured. He has been arrested and sent to a hospital for treatment,” the ASP said.
Chaurasiya’s arrest led to a protest by local traders and residents of Paska town as they blamed the police for framing Chaurasiya in the case. Chaurasiya’s mother Laxmi Chaurasiya demanded a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation in the case.
The ASP rejected the allegations and said that two of the three girls had told the police that they had seen Chaurasiya escaping from the house after throwing the acid-like liquid on them. The ASP also said the accused confessed to committing the crime during interrogation.
Three Dalit sisters were attacked with a chemical while they were sleeping inside their house in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda in the early hours of Tuesday. The eldest sister suffered major injuries on her face and chest while the other two suffered minor burns on hands. Superintendent of police Shailesh Kumar Pandey had said on Tuesday that all three girls are out of danger.