Earlier this year when Hindutva hardliner Yogi Adityanath of the BJP formed the new government in Uttar Pradesh, he made tall promises to ensure women's safety in one of India's most crime-ridden states. Over 100 days of Adityanath's administration have passed and here we are confronted with yet another horrific crime on his watch.
According to reports, a woman who was gangraped and attacked with acid in 2008 over a dispute regarding property, was attacked in Lucknow, the state capital for the fourth time. Yes, you read that right. And this in spite of a Supreme Court ban on open sale of acid to prevent such attacks, which are pervasive in India.
Here's a timeline of the atrocities that were perpetrated on her:
In 2008, the mother of two was gangraped and attacked with acid at her home in Unchahar, 100 km away from Lucknow.
In 2011 and 2013, she was attacked in a similar way, again and again, but she managed to survive and recover each time. In between, in 2012, she had been attacked with a knife.
In March this year, she was cornered, while travelling by a train with her daughter, by her alleged rapists and forced to drink acid. She was found unconscious by the railway police but later managed to write a formal complaint, even though she couldn't speak. The accused went scot-free after they were released on bail.
CM Adityanath visited her at the King George Medical University in Lucknow, gave her monetary compensation and provided her with security. And still, in spite of an armed constable stationed in the waiting room of her hostel, two men managed to scale the walls of the building she lives in and throw acid at her when she had stepped out to fetch water around 9 pm.
The woman is an employee of a cafe in the state capital run by acid attack survivors. Her husband lives in Rae Bareli with their two children. She has lodged at least eight FIRs against the two accused and their accomplices, according to the Hindustan Times. The police are on their lookout.
Speaking to a private TV channel, CM Adityanath said the woman's claim that she had been attacked yet again needs to be investigated.
"This turns out to be the sixth acid attack on the woman. I had visited her at the KGMU and then we made arrangements for her treatment and security. She was kept in a secure place under police protection," he said.
Also on HuffPost