With 15 percent burns to her face, throat, chest and left hand and leg, 18-year-old Jolly Akhter lies in critical condition at the Acid Survivors Foundation's (ASF) hospital in the capital's Banani while her attacker is still at large.
“Her condition is critical mainly because of the burns on her chest and throat,” ASF Senior Medical Officer ASM Zakaria Imam Tanveer told The Daily Star yesterday, adding, “We conducted an emergency operation on the hand today.”
Jolly's father Jahir Uddin filed a case with Hakimpur Police Station in Dinajpur on Friday night accusing Md Abu Sayem, who resides in Chirla village of Joypurhat sadar upazila.
The case's investigation officer, Sub-inspector Abu Hasan of Hakimpur Police Station, told The Daily Star's Dinajpur correspondent that police had raided Sayem's house and that of his relatives but to no avail.
Sayem, a married man, had been stalking Jolly, also a resident of Chirla village, on her way to and from Mongalbari Degree College for the last two and a half months, said her relatives.
Around one month ago, he had proposed to her and was rejected. When he threatened to kidnap her, Jolly's parents sent her away to her grandmother's house in Chandipur village of Dinajpur's Hakimpur upazila, some 20 kilometres away from Chirla, they said.
Chandipur villagers informed that Sayem had even followed her there.
The grandmother, Sahera Khatun, who had also suffered minor burns, said Sayem, with an accomplice, ripped open the tin roof of her house while she and Jolly were asleep on Friday around 2:30am and poured petrol on Jolly.
Before Jolly realised what was happening, Sayem threw a lit matchstick at her, she said, adding, “Some villagers had recognised Sayem fleeing the spot.”
Doctors at Joypurhat Modern Hospital had recommended shifting Jolly to ASF on Friday evening as “her injuries were too severe”.