LUCKNOW: After a 19-year-old youth was arrested by the Gonda police in connection with the acid attack on three sisters of Paska town of the district, his family and local traders of the hamlet registered a protest against the police action.
As per police sources, the accused Ashish Chaurasiya alias Chhotu was spotted by the district police while he was coming to the town late on Wednesday evening. On seeing the cops’ vehicle, the accused tried to flee but his motorbike slipped. The police sources claimed that he opened fire on the police party which retaliated in self-defence. In the exchange of fire, the accused got injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The three Dalit sisters were attacked by some chemical, suspected to be acid, while they were sleeping on the first floor of their house on Tuesday. While the eldest one, 17, sustained the maximum 30 per cent burns on her face and chest, the two younger ones aged 12 and 8 years had received around 20 percent and 7 per cent burns respectively.
The police sources also claimed that Chaurasiya had allegedly been “troubling” the eldest of the three sisters for quite some time and was pestering her to talk to him but she refused. Chaurasiya lived near the girls’ house in Paska town.
According to Gonda police, one of the girls had even seen Chaurasiya fleeing after allegedly committing the crime. This was backed by one of the neighbours who was asleep outside the house on the fateful night. As per Gonda SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey, the accused had made multiple calls to the eldest of the three victims on the day of the incident.
The victim was not willing to talk to him but the accused was adamant, claimed the cops. The SP also said that Ashish had fled to Bahraich to take refuge after the district police had launched a manhunt for him. However, after his arrest, while Chaurasiya’s family claimed that he was not involved in the crime and was framed by police, local traders of Paska town also protested the police action.
Chaurasiya’s mother Laxmi Chaurasiya demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the case. “Shoot him if he has committed the crime but don’t send him to jail for something he has not done,” Ashish’s mother Laxmi Devi said. She even demanded a hearing with CM Yogi Adityanath. The family claimed Ashish was in Bahraich when the incident took place and was arrested merely to show that police acted swiftly.
However, rejecting the claims of the family, the cops claimed that the accused had confessed to having committed the crime during interrogation. “We have technical evidence to show the involvement of the accused, backed by the statements of the victims,” said a police source.