India

India teenager arrested over acid attack on schoolgirls

An Indian doctor inspects the eye of injured schoolgirl Prabhjot as she undergoes treatment at The Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar on March 16, 2016, Image copyright AFP
Image caption One of the girls was severely injured while the others received minor burns in the attack

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in the north Indian state of Punjab for throwing acid on some female students as they walked home from school.

One of the girls was severely injured while the others received minor burns in the attack.

Police told BBC Hindi's Sanjay Sharma that they were searching for another man involved in the incident.

The attack came after one of the girls complained that she was being being "stalked" by one of the men, they said.

The girl who was the target of the attack in Batala district, escaped with superficial burns, but one of her friends was admitted to hospital with second degree burns.

The Punjab government has said that it will pay for her treatment and for plastic surgery.

Doctors say they are hopeful that she will only have a few scars on her body after treatment.

According to one estimate by the Acid Survivors Trust International, there could be as many as 1,000 acid attacks every year in India alone, many of which go unreported.

Despite this, the country does not have any specific law to prosecute acid attackers.

In 2013, the Supreme Court acted on a petition filed by an acid attack survivor and directed state governments to formulate a policy to regulate over-the-counter sale of acid in India.

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