Andhra girl student injured in acid attack dies

December 31st, 2008 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 31 (IANS) A 25-year-old student, who was injured in an acid attack allegedly by a spurned lover and his two associates in Andhra Pradesh’s Warangal town three weeks ago, died at a hospital here Wednesday.After battling for life for 20 days, Swapnika succumbed to her injuries at a private hospital.

Doctors said she died early Wednesday after her condition worsened two days ago and her vital organs stopped functioning.

Swapnika, B.Tech final year student of Kakatiya Institute of Technology, and her classmate Pranitha were injured when three youths attacked them with acid as they were returning home Dec 10.

While Pranitha escaped with injuries on her face, Swapnika sustained serious wounds and was shifted to a hospital here. Both her eyes were damaged while she also suffered burns on face and chest.

The incident had sent shock waves across the state with women and student groups demanding stern punishment to the guilty. Two days later Warangal police arrested S. Srinivas Rao and his two associates and charged them with the attack.

Srinivas reportedly told the police he attacked Swapnika as she had spurned his love.

However, the case took a dramatic turn with police gunning down the three in an alleged shootout on the outskirts of Warangal town in the early hours of Dec 13, a few hours after their arrest.

S. Srinivas Rao, 25, and his associates P. Harikrishna, 24, and B. Sanjay, 22, were killed in the gun battle, the police said.

The police claimed that the policemen fired in self-defence. The accused had allegedly tried to attack policemen when they were taken to a place for gathering evidence.

While the families of the acid attack victims, college students and women groups hailed the police action, the human rights organisations refused to buy the police theory and accused cops of taking law into their hands.

On Wednesday, Swapnika’s body was taken to Warangal where an autopsy was conducted at government-run M.G.M. Hospital. The body was kept at college premises where hundreds of students paid their last respects.

A pall of gloom descended on the college premises as the management declared a holiday.

Swapnika’s last rites were later performed in the town. Her parents were seen crying inconsolably.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy expressed his grief at the death of Swapnika and promised to render all possible assistance to her family.

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