Punjab acid attack: Police arrest man who injured 9 women over land dispute

Punjab, India Dec 26, 2016, 10.07 PM(IST)

Police said that all of them are out of danger and efforts to nab other unidentified persons are on. In photo: Jaya Sable, who was attacked with acid on June 22, 2016. (Representative image) Photograph:( Getty )

A man accused of injuring nine women in an acid attack in India's northern Punjab state over a land dispute was arrested on Monday.

Two groups of villagers fought over the possession of a panchayat land at village Bhui, according to police, Press trust of India reported.

The women worked as labourers on the disputed land under a federal government's rural employment guarantee scheme. The accused threw acid during the scuffle resulting in burn injuries to women from both the groups.

"I was not aware about the dispute. But in the morning around 11 a.m. (GMT 0530), I saw some people gathered who threw acid on us," news agency Reuters quoted Jaspreet Kaur, a survivor.

The police said that the injured were admitted to a local civil hospital and were out of danger. They added that efforts to nab other unidentified persons are on.

"All of them are undergoing treatment. There are not many burns, if at all there are, it would be around 25 to 30 per cent," said Kapurthala station house officer, Sikander Singh.

An increase has been reported in acid attack cases in India in the last few years.

India's top court ordered a curb in the sale of acid to control attacks against women in 2013 but the chemical substance remains easily available.

Last year, the court ruled that survivors should receive free medical treatment and a minimum compensation of 300,000 rupees ($4,500), Reuters reported.