Man throws acid on wife at court in Kovai

Police identified the suspect as 40-year-old P Sivakumar. The victim Kavitha (32), hails from Kovilpatti village in Madurai district.

Published: 24th March 2023 07:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2023 07:25 AM   |  A+A-

acid attack, violence against women

Image used for representational purpose. (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Tension gripped the Coimbatore Combined Court Complex on Thursday morning, after a man threw acid on his wife as she was waiting in front of a court hall. The woman was rushed to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital where doctors said she’d sustained 80% burns and is fighting for her life. 

Police identified the suspect as 40-year-old P Sivakumar. The victim Kavitha (32), hails from Kovilpatti village in Madurai district. Police said the couple had committed several thefts together since moving to Coimbatore a decade ago.

There are four theft cases against Sivakumar and three against Kavitha. Kavitha was at the court on Thursday for a hearing at the Judicial Magistrate Court in connection to a 2016 case.  According to police, Sivakumar had been trying to find her since she left him and their two daughters and started living separately. He had lodged a missing person complaint at the Sulur police station three days ago. 

Knowing she would be at court, police said, Sivakumar came to the complex and found Kavitha at the waiting hall in front of the courtroom.

Lawyers call for better security at court complex after attack

He is learnt to have told her something about their daughters and asked her to come with him. When she refused, Sivakumar, who had brought the acid in a plastic water bottle, threw the chemical on her body, the police said, adding that he’d deliberately avoided her face.

Kavitha cried for help, ran out of the waiting hall and fell on the floor near the Judicial Magistrate II court while Sivakumar tried to escape. Hearing her screams, lawyers, police personnel and members of public rushed to help. As her clothes were burnt in the attack, a woman lawyer covered her with her gown and Kavitha was rushed to CMCH in an ambulance.

Meanwhile, constable M Indhumathi, attached to the Anaimalai police station, and others at the spot chased the suspect. He was caught by them on Arts College Road a few metres from the court complex. An eyewitness said the mob thrashed him before handing him over to the police. The video of the mob attack has been doing the rounds on social media.

Racecourse Police in Coimbatore city booked Sivakumar under Section 326A (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc) of IPC and detained him. Police said he would be remanded later in the night following inquiry.

This is the second brutal assault in the area since a youth was publicly hacked to death near the court complex on February 13. Lawyers said there is a need to increase security at the court complex in light of recent incidents.

At present, no one is checked when they enter the complex. A senior police officer said they have posted adequate police personnel at all four entrances to the court complex. Restricting entry to one route and complete frisking would be the best ways to prevent harmful materials from being brought into the court campus. “We have planned to discuss it with judicial officers,” the cop said.

Meanwhile, Indhumathi’s quick response was appreciated by Coimbatore Superintendent of Police V Badrinayayanan, who gave her a reward of Rs 5000. Meanwhile, members of AIDWA met the victim at the hospital and demanded strong action against the suspect.


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