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Acid attack survivor identifies main accused, records statement

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Srinagar: A Srinagar woman, attacked with acid for rejecting a marriage proposal on February 01, has identified the main accused in the case Sajjad Ahmed Rather in a court here and recorded her statement, officials and her lawyer said on Tuesday.

Accompanied by her parents and friends, the woman appeared before the court on Monday at 11.30 am and was subjected to exhaustive cross-examination by the defence lawyers which continued till 4.30 pm, her lawyer Mir Naveed Gul said.

The woman was undergoing treatment at an eye hospital in Chennai. She appeared before the court to record her statement as a witness and identify Rather as the person who threw acid on her face, the officials said.

Gul said the woman was one of the prosecution witnesses mentioned in the charge-sheet, filed by the police within three weeks of the incident that took place in downtown Srinagar city.

“We plan to get some more witnesses mentioned in the charge-sheet, after which the prosecution will place its final argument. We have been hoping for speedy justice,” the lawyer said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had filed a 1,000-page charge-sheet against three people — Rather and Mohammad Saleem Kumar, alias Tota, and a juvenile. The police have prayed for the juvenile to be treated as an adult as per the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, wherein youngsters in the age group of 16-18 can be tried under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they are accused of heinous crimes.

The accused were charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 326-A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) of the IPC.

The charge-sheet was filed within three weeks of the incident to ensure swift and exemplary punishment to the accused and to deter those who may be having such “barbaric” tendencies, the officials said.

The maximum punishment under these sections is life sentence and the minimum is 10 years’ imprisonment, but the prosecution is pressing for the maximum so that it acts as a deterrent, they said.

The woman, along with her family members, shifted to Chennai for specialised treatment. The expenses were met by a businessman-turned-politician, who prefers anonymity. (With PTI inputs)

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