India woman attacked with acid for fifth time

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAcid attacks are not uncommon against women in India

A woman in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh who survived an alleged gang-rape and four separate acid attacks has been targeted again by an acid-thrower.

She was attacked outside a women's hostel in Lucknow while getting water from a hand pump, police said.

The woman, 35, had been receiving round-the-clock police protection because of the previous attacks, which were linked to a property dispute.

Anger is growing at the authorities' inability to protect her.

She was allegedly gang-raped and first attacked with acid by two men in 2008, over a property dispute, the details of which are not clear.

The same two men are then accused of throwing acid at her twice more - in 2012 and 2013 - to try and get her to drop the criminal charges against them.

media captionLaxmi Saa was 15 when a 32-year-old man threw acid at her after she rejected his marriage proposal - she spoke to Kinjal Pandya-Wagh from the BBC's Delhi Bureau

In March, she was attacked again while travelling on a train with her daughter. This time she was forced to drink acid.

Two men are facing trial for all of the attacks but were released on bail in April, the AFP agency reports.

According to government figures, there are hundreds of such attacks involving acid each year in India, although campaigners say the real figures are much higher.

The victims, who have to live with terrible disfigurements, are mainly women and are often targeted by jealous partners, campaigners say.

Despite a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 to regulate the sale of acid, critics say it is still widely and easily available.

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