A 19-year-old girl from Assam's Nagaon district became the second acid attack victim in the state this month after a boy splashed her with acid on Wednesday night for allegedly rejecting his love proposal. She had just returned from Maha Ashtami celebrations.
The victim’s mother and brother also suffered injuries as the boy threw the acid bottle and ran away.
The incident at Sarishabari village in Nagaon comes just 10 days after a similar attack was reported from Lakhimpur district.
"The accused has been identified as Sanjay Sarkar from the neighbouring village. A case has been registered against the boy who is currently absconding. A manhunt has been launched, and investigation is on," said Nagaon Superintendent of Police, Shankar Brata Raimedhi.
According to the victim, the boy had been pestering her even though she turned down his love proposal. "It was around 2:30 am when I had returned from the puja pandal. He must have been hiding somewhere near the well when I went to the toilet. I never liked him, and I had rejected his proposal," the victim narrated.
The girl, who suffered serious burn injuries on the face and body, is currently undergoing treatment at the Nagaon civil hospital.
The victim's brother said that the accused must have held a 'grudge' against the girl for refusing to accept his love. He added that the rejection was compounded by public shaming when elderly villagers were informed about his amorous overtures.
"He was pursuing her, but she never showed any interest. I had even warned him to stop following her. The villagers too called for a public hearing and sent him off. Maybe, he bore a grudge ever since."
Nagaon police are still trying to ascertain the corrosive substance used in the attack.
Earlier, police had arrested two persons involved in the horrific acid attack in Lakhimpur on October 8. The duo had attacked a girl with acid for rejecting a marriage proposal. The victim is still undergoing treatment following the dreadful attack that left her with burn injuries on the left side of her face, chest and right arm.