Kerala youth hurls acid at 3 girls in Karnataka PU college; caught immediately

The assailant told the police that his intended target was only one of the young women among the three, the other two were “collateral damage”.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Mar 04, 2024 | 5:25 PMUpdatedMar 04, 2024 | 5:25 PM

acid attack

On Monday, 4 March, three young female students found themselves in the throes of an unexpected tragedy at a government pre-university college in Kadaba, the taluk headquarters town of Dakshina Kannada in Coastal Karnataka.

Just moments before the commencement of exams, a youth — identified as 23-year-old Abin Shibi from Nilambur in Malappuram, Kerala — unleashed a horrifying attack with acid, leaving the girls with burn injuries.

Swift justice prevailed as fellow students and passersby apprehended the assailant in his attempt to escape, promptly turning him over to the police, a senior police official said.

The incident

Shibi, during interrogation, revealed his motive. He was unable to take a ‘no’ for answer when he approached one of the victims with a proposal. Vengeful that his proposal was rejected, Shibi wanted to “teach the girl a painful lesson” through the use of acid.

The assailant told the police that his intended target was only one of the young women among the three, who was enrolled in the Science stream in the college. She bore the brunt of third-degree facial burns, while the other women who were with her suffered collateral damage from the splash.

Dressed in the college uniform to gain entry unsuspectedly, Shibi, pursuing an MBA course according to police records, concealed his identity further with a mask and a cap. He approached the girls who were sitting in the college corridors, armed with a bottle containing acid and hurled it at them.

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The investigation

“All the three injured girls have been shifted to a private hospital soon after the incident, which took place when they were preparing for the Pre-University Course (PUC) exams sitting in the corridors of the college,” the police official said.

“We are investigating how he procured the uniform,” a police officer privy to the investigation told South First.

“The victims were taken to the Kadaba government hospital, but the doctors there advised the families to shift them to Mangaluru for better treatment as the burn (suffered by one of the victims) was extensive,” the police officer said.

Speaking to the media, CB Rishyanth, Superintendent of Police (SP) Dakshin Kannada district, said, “We have secured the accused. He is from Kerala. Both (the primary victim and assailant) hail from the same place. He lives in Malappuram. Her mother’s place is close to the accused’s place. It seems like that’s where they got to know each other and it looks like a case of retaliation over rejection. Further inquiry is on.”

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Health Minister condemns attack

Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao condemned the acid attack on three female students at a government pre-university college on Monday and directed authorities to ensure that victims receive all essential medical care, as well as compensation from the government.

He also assured that stringent legal action would be taken against the perpetrator.

“I strongly condemn the heinous crime of acid attack on three female students on the premises of a government PU college in Kadaba taluk of Dakshina Kannada district,” Rao said in a post on X.

Rao, who is in-charge Minister of Dakshina Kannada district, said the district police have already arrested the accused and are conducting a comprehensive investigation.

“It’s saddening to hear that the three students have suffered serious burn injuries and require extensive medical treatment,” he said. “We are investigating the matter seriously and will ensure stringent legal action against the perpetrators.”