Assailant of Hetauda acid attack arrested after more than six yearsThe perpetrator had thrown acid on a 19-year-old girl for rebuffing his romantic advances.
Police on Thursday arrested Dilip Raj Keshari (nicknamed Raj) on the charge of throwing acid on a 19-year-old girl six years ago in Hetauda. According to Yagya Prasad Bhattarai, DSP at Makwanpur Police, Keshari was nabbed at about 9pm on Thursday from Simara in Bara where he was hiding.
Keshari, an Indian citizen who had been staying temporarily in Hetauda during the time of the incident on April 22, 2013, had attacked Bindabasini Kansakar with acid to exact revenge after the latter rebuffed his romantic overtures.
Kansakar, then a 19-year-old studying in grade 12, has sustained severe burns in her eyes and face. She is yet to completely regain her eyesight, for which her family has spent over Rs6 million in treatments.
Keshari is a permanent resident of Amarpurban in Maharajgunj district in Uttar Pradesh, India, who at the time of the incident was working at his shop in Hetauda.
“The arrest is an outcome of years of consistent efforts from the police headquarters,” Bhattarai said, adding that the police are carrying out the necessary investigation.
According to Bhattarai, the police are preparing to file a case demanding a sentence of up to 12 years in jail.
According to preliminary investigations, Keshari is found to have moved back and forth between India and Nepal during the period when he was at large.
“The police intensified search operations after we received confidential information about Keshari staying at Gurgaon in New Delhi,” Bhattarai said. “Even though we had kept tabs on upon him for a long time, there would be technical hurdles in arresting him in India. So we captured him when he came to Nepal.”
Makwanpur District Court has asked the police to keep Keshari in custody for 10 days for further investigation, according to Keshav Prasad Kaushik, a registrar at the district court.
Meanwhile, the victim Kansakar has demanded Keshari be punished to the full extent. “I have had to struggle a lot because of the injuries in my face and eyes,” she said. “The criminal should be jailed until lifetime or hung.”
Speaking at the police office, Kansakar said that she has not received any help from the state. Her family informed that over Rs15 million have been spent on Kansakar’s treatments.
“I would like to thank Nepal Police for arresting the assailant despite the fact that the government has not extended any help for my treatment,” said Kansakar, who now holds a bachelor’s degree with a business major.
“I am still struggling to return to normalcy,” she said. “The government should help victims of acid attacks like me rehabilitate in society.”
Incidents of acid attack are becoming more frequent in Nepal over the past decade. Since the fiscal year 2071/72, 16 people have been attacked with acid, including 13 women and three men. Women are often attacked with acid for turning down romantic overtures. In September this year, 15-year-old Muskan Khatun was attacked in Birgunj for turning down the romantic proposition of a neighbour.