Acid Attack Sparks Outrage

SRINAGAR: There is widespread outrage against the acid attack on a young college girl in Srinagar on Thursday as hundreds of students Friday staged protests against the incident and demanded stern punishment against the culprits.

Unidentified car-borne persons on Thursday threw acid at 21 year old law student of Kashmir Law College, inflicting serious burn injuries on her face and damaging her right eye, at Nowshera area of the city.

Expressing their solidarity with the victim, hundreds of students, both male and female, marched inside the campus of Kashmir University Friday demanding speedy arrest of the culprits. 

The students, who were holding placards, were shouting slogans like ‘we want justice’.

“We are protesting against the acid attack on one of our colleagues yesterday. She has been hospitalized and doctors have said she is in critical condition. The Kashmir University students are out to protest and Law Department took the initiative. We appeal State authorities, including police to take quick action and also secure the future of the victim by providing her due compensation”, said a Law student, Nasiya Haq.

The placards, which were held by protesters read: “In solidarity with our sister…Down with State Administration.”

“We should en masse raise voice against the unfortunate incident. The administration should also wake up and act swiftly,” said a student, Asif.

“It (acid attack) is so disgusting.  We have witnessed many such incidents in the past,” Afshana Ali, a student of Department of Sociology, said. She slammed government for its alleged inaction and said: “No government officer is present here. The government is busy in election process and nothing has been done so far.”

In reply to a question, she said the modernity has nothing to do with these attacks.

“Catch the culprit and take the action according to law. We should also find out what motivated culprits to resort to this act,” said a protester. An agitated girl said: “It is our obligation to raise our voice against the attack. It could have been me also.”

The protesters marched till Vice Chancellor’s secretariat and from where they dispersed off peacefully.

In another protest, scores of students of Kashmir Law College, Nowshehra, took out a protest march from the institute and demanded arrest of the culprits.

“After arrest, there should be a fast track trial of the accused and they should be awarded capital punishment. This case should serve an eye-opener for other people who have criminal mind,” said Haroon.

The students also demanded action against the eve-teasers who harass girls. “Acid attack is not only one form of harassment but girls are also harassed on roads, buses and in colleges. Government should act against these roadside Romeos,” a protester said. She said the laws should be amended so that criminal minded people think one thousand times before committing any crime.

The students also held a peaceful protest here at Press Enclave and Pratap Park. The protesters were holding placards which read ‘stop acid attacks’.

The protesters questioned the ‘silence’ of Indian media and other Bollywood celebrities over the issue. They demanded government job for the acid attack victims for her secure future.

In a memorandum submitted to government, the students demanded that police must mobilise all its resources to arrest the ‘goons’ behind the attack. They demanded that the investigation of the case should be handed over to a senior officer not below to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and also formation of Special Investigation Team.

The students demanded the University authorities ‘to ensure that as a special case the supplementary or special examination of the victim is conducted after she recovers and comes out of the physical and mental pain’.

The students said the case is purely a humanitarian issue and no politics should be played over it.

Centre for Youth Development also staged a protest against the acid attack in Press Enclave on Friday.

The students of law department Central University of Kashmir also held a peaceful protest march as a gesture of solidarity with the victim. 

The law students at Central University Nowgam campus here in city outskirts expressed their disgust over this gruesome act by raising slogans like stop gender discrimination’ and expressed  their solidarity with the victim by displaying flash cards and demanded the offenders be dealt in the harshest manner possible to put a halt to such  attacks in future.

Though police have registered an FIR in the case but culprits are still at large and so far no one has been arrested. 

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