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Jagasinghpur: A court in Odisha‘s Jagatsinghpur district on Monday sentenced two persons, including an army jawan, to 14 years imprisonment for throwing acid on a woman college student 13 years ago as she did not accept the marriage proposal of one of them.

Assistant Sessions (Women’s Court) judge Rasmita Sahu also slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 on each of the two convicts.

Santosh Kumar Bedanta alias Bapi and Biswajit Dalsinghray alias Anil had thrown acid on the woman while she, along with her brother, was returning home in a village under Tirtol police station area after attending college on April 18, 2009.

The victim suffered severe burn injuries and her face got disfigured. She remained in bed for seven years and her vision has been greatly affected.

The prime accused Bedanta, an army jawan and a resident of Bhadrak district, had thrown acid on her after she refused to accept his marriage proposal.

He was later arrested from Kolkata in 2017, almost eight years after the attack.

Dalsinghray, who rode the motorcycle used for the crime and assisted Bedanta in purchasing acid, was held in Nayagarh district of Odisha.

The case was closed in 2012 due to lack of evidence. Jagatsinghpur police, however, sought permission from the sub-divisional judicial magistrate in 2017 to reopen it after the then SP JN Pankaj perused the case.

Thereafter, the court issued a non-bailable warrant against Bedanta, who was then posted in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. He left that state by the time police reached there and was later traced to Kolkata.

Our team had to chase Bedanta from Kashmir to Kolkata to nab him. The Kolkata police also extended help to arrest the prime accused in the acid attack case, Pankaj told reporters while expressing satisfaction over the judgment.

The victim, who got married to a long-time friend of hers in 2021, is presently working in an NGO.

Also read: Meghalaya, Manipur among 5 states yet to reach ‘replacement-level’ fertility

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