Russian acid attack victim suffers damage to eyes

New Delhi: The 23-year-old Russian woman who was attacked with acid in Varanasi two days ago is in a critical but stable condition and has suffered partial damage to her eyes.

The woman is admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the burn wing of Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. She was flown to Delhi yesterday evening in an air ambulance following a request from the Russian embassy and the Union government.

“She has 45 per cent chemical burns, with facial burns affecting both the eyes, neck, front part of the chest, abdomen, right arm, complete left leg and right thigh,” a senior doctor at the hospital said, adding that she was critical but stable.

The report was submitted by a team of doctors from the burns unit at the hospital, who had examined her on her arrival at 10.10 PM yesterday.

Patchy burn marks were recorded by the team on her back also.

Senior officials at Varanasi had yesterday said that the victim had dual citizenship of Russia and Bulgaria, and she was living with the accused as his friend, and not as a paying guest.

The accused, identified as Siddharth Srivastava, fled to Allahabad after the incident and was arrested after he came to visit the victim at Sir Sunder Lal Hospital, where the victim was undergoing treatment till yesterday.

During her stay at the Varanasi house, she came?close to the landlord’s son Siddharth Srivastava, who is a student of music at Banaras Hindu University, a senior police officer had said.

“Srivastav was unhappy over the decision of the woman to return to Russia. They had a quarrel over the issue after which Srivastav threw acid on her,” Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhary had said.

On the next day, Srivastav, who had fled to Allahabad after committing the crime, was nabbed when he came back to visit the victim in the hospital, Kulhary said.

A guilt-ridden Srivastav said at a press conference called by police, “I really feel shameful for my act, I don’t know whether I would ever be able to meet her in my life.”

Varanasi District Magistrate Rajmani Yadav told PTI that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sanctioned Rs 5 lakh from the CM Relief Fund for the woman’s treatment.