After twenty-year-old Rinku Rani Das rejected his proposal of marriage and instead married another man, Dhrubolal Shil became enraged and wanted revenge.
He enlisted three of his friends to help him throw acid in the faces of Das and her new husband, badly burning both. Although Shil and two of his accomplices are still at large, one man, Ganesh Chandra Shil, was captured. All four have been sentenced to death for the attack.
Acid attacks against women have become increasingly common in Bangladesh, despite a 1983 law that made the crime punishable by death. The sulfuric acid commonly used to burn and disfigure women’s faces and bodies is widely available, and enforcement of the law prohibiting such attacks is poor. Only 10 individuals have been convicted in the past four years.
According to UNICEF’s office in Dhaka, at least 200 people reported that they had been burned by acid last year, up from 130 in 1997.