Gang-rape survivor sprayed with acid, third attack in nine years

31 Dalit activists arrested in Lucknow

Unidentified assailants threw acid on a 35-year-old complainant in a gangrape case in Lucknow's Aliganj area on Saturday evening, the fourth violent attack on her since she reported the assault nine years ago.

The latest attack on her ignited widespread condemnation, with critics blaming the Adityanath government for what they said was a virtual breakdown of law and order in Uttar Pradesh.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had then visited her in hospital and announced an assistance of ₹1 lakh.

In March 2017, she was for the 4th time attacked with acid.

In 2008, the mother of two was gangraped and attacked with acid at her home in Unchahar, 100 km away from Lucknow.

She was allegedly raped in December 2008 by a man Bhondu Singh. He said the woman had injury marks on the right side of her face.

The incident took place less than three months after the suspected rapists allegedly forced her to drink acid on train while she was travelling from her hometown, Rae Bareli, to Lucknow because she refused to withdraw her complaints against them.

Two men are facing trial for all of the attacks but were released on bail in April, AFP reports.

The woman works with Lucknow's Sheroes Hangout Cafe, (an institute that was set up by activists to empower acid attack survivors across the State). Police said the attack happened during the shift change of the two gunners who were assigned to guard the woman. She was standing near the washroom at the Shramjeevi Hostel and was talking on her phone when she was allegedly attacked, sources said.

"She is in the trauma centre and not in a position to speak", Additional Director General of Police Abhay Kumar told the media.

The woman and her family allege the acid attacks are being orchestrated by people known to the gang-rape accused. In 2013, acid was thrown at her. She is once again attacked by acid. UP minister for women welfare Rita Bahuguna Joshi termed the incident as unfortunate and assured a thorough probe and action against the accused.

Opposition parties targeted the Yogi Adityanath government for the incident, saying that repeated attacks against the survivor spoke of the failing law and order in the State.

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