LAHORE: Unidentified men stopped an auto-rickshaw in the main bazaar near Akbar Chowk in Green Town area, threw acid on a university teacher, and fled from the scene on Tuesday.
The victim identified as Huma Shahzad fell unconscious after the attack and was rushed to the Jinnah Hospital in critical condition.
Police said two men riding on a motorcycle intercepted a rickshaw at College Road on Tuesday evening and threw acid on lecturer’s face, chest and shoulders. The family had scheduled wedding ceremony of the victim next month.
SP Sadar Division Malik Awais told The Nation that the motive behind the acid assault on the 24-year-old woman has not yet been established. “Investigations are on until we apprehend the criminals. Police are collecting information to track down the criminals,” the police officer said.
“We had scheduled her wedding ceremony on February 8. She was coming back from the University of Management and Technology (UMT) after delivering lectures as usual when she was attacked,” Shahid Farooq, the complainant and brother of the victim told this reporter by phone.
Witnesses said two motorcyclists threw acid on the woman who was travelling in an auto-rickshaw and fled.
The resident of Township sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Jinnah Hospital, where her condition was reported to be out of danger.
But she was being provided medical treatment at the intensive care unit of the hospital till Tuesday night.
Police investigators say they believe the attackers were not happy over her planned marriage. A member of the victim family told this reporter that the involvement of a friend of the bridegroom in the gruesome attack could not be ruled out. The police have registered a case against unidentified men and are investigating with no arrest made yet.
Though the government had introduced legislations to severely penalize the perpetrators in such incidents yet there is no lull in acid attacks as seen in recent months.
On December 1, a young woman suffered moderate burns after her husband allegedly threw acid on her following domestic issues near Firdos Market Gulberg.
On August 15, at least six persons including three nurses and a woman patient suffered critical to moderate burn injuries when a man threw acid on his nurse wife at Mayo Hospital’s emergency.
The Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) claims that 150 acid attacks occur in Pakistan each year.
In 2012, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy sought to bring global attention to acid attacks and the women who are left to live with the consequences with their documentary, Saving Face, which won Academy Award.