Sehardha Ramchandra Kasalk, 17, was burned with acid by ex-boyfriend Jitendra Sakpal, 21, in Mumbai. He is charged with attempted murder.
Although the couple had separated several months ago, Ms Kasalka had agreed to join Mr Sakpal for a walk, during which he asked her to marry him. “When she refused he grabbed hold of her mouth and tried to force her to drink the acid,” Mr Bagawe said. Some of the liquid went down her throat, but she also sustained 8 per cent burns because some of it spilt on to her face.
Her screams alerted people nearby and men overpowered Sakpal. Kasalk is recovering in a nearby hospital with severe burns to her face, lips, and tongue. Doctors said her injuries are not life threatening.
The world has their eyes on India because of a number of high-profile rapes, but acid attacks in India are very common. The charity group Acid Survivors Trust International says the majority of victims are women and children and many cases go unreported. Most of them are performed by ex-lovers, such as Sakpal, to make the women undesirable to other men.
Alok Dixit, a Delhi-based campaigner for Stop Acid Attacks, said there are at least three or four attacks in the media every week. India passed a law in February that made acid attacks an offense; attackers could receive up to 10 years in prison.