Muskan Khatun's attackers sent to juvenile correction home

BIRGUNJ: District Court, Parsa has sent the main culprits who carried out an acid attack on Muskan Khatun of Birgunj Metropolitan City to a juvenile correction home in Birta.

A single bench of chief judge Prakash Kharel decided to send Shamshad Aalam and Majid Miya of Chhapkaiya in Birgunj-2 -- who carried out the acid attack on Khatun, 15, on September 6 -- to the juvenile correction home instead of prison as their ages could not be determined for sure.

It has been reported that Parsa District Police Office, after collection of evidence, pointed out that the age of Aalam and Miya were 18 and 19 respectively. However, as per the medical report submitted by Birgunj-based Narayani Sub-Regional Hospital to the police, the age of Aalam is between 16 to 18 years while Miya's age is between 18 to 20 years.

But families of the perpetrators provided their birth certificates to the court, which says that Aalam was born in 2064 BS making him 12 years old whereas Miya's certificate says that he was born in 2062 BS, making him 14 years of age.

Though Aalam and Miya were found guilty as per the evidence, non-confirmation of their ages has led to the decision of sending them to a correction centre instead of prison, as per the Child Protection Act, 2075, said Chief Judge Kharel.

Kharel further informed that after going through the evidence provided by police and the medical reports, minimum ages (on the basis of these reports) were considered for legal purposes, thereby, determining their ages at 16 and 18 years. This led to the decision of sending them to the correction home as per the rights of a juvenile.

Kharel also stated that the investigation is going on to determine their actual ages.

According to Parsa District Police Office (DPO), the culprits had thrown acid on Muskan Khatun at Ganeshman Chok in Birgunj, early in the morning of September 6, critically injuring her. Subsequently, police arrested the culprits.

The acid attack survivor — who suffered critical burns on her face, chest, and hands — was rushed to local Narayani Hospital from where she was referred to Kirtipur Hospital in Kathmandu.

Khatun is a ninth-grader at local Tribhuvan Hanuman Secondary School in Birgunj. The girl was on her way to school when the attack took place. According to her maternal aunt, those involved in carrying out the acid attack were acquainted neighbours.