Russian female tourist scalded in India acid attack: Police

LUCKNOW (AFP) - A 23-year-old Russian suffered severe burns in an acid attack on Friday (Nov 13) while she was sleeping in the Indian holy city of Varanasi, the latest in a series of attacks on female tourists.

Ms Darya Yurieva, who had been in India for about four months, was rushed to hospital after her landlord's son allegedly attacked her in a homestay accommodation, according to police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

"He threw a bottle of acid on her early on Friday morning while she was still asleep," Mr Daljeet Chaudhary, additional director general of police, told AFP.

"The accused will be nabbed soon," Mr Chaudhary said, adding the suspect had been on the run since the attack.

Friday's attack is the latest in a series reported by foreign women visiting India.

An American tourist had accused two men of raping her in the popular Himalayan hill station of Dharamsala in northern India in September.

In February, a Japanese woman accused a tour guide of drugging and raping her in the historic city of Jaipur.

Attacks on women have been on the rise in India, with 132,000 cases of sexual offences against women in 2014, and some 12,400 in Uttar Pradesh alone, according to official figures.

There were more than 300 acid attacks last year, the Indian Express newspaper reported in April based on provisional data from India's National Crime Records Bureau.

But experts say those figures are likely to represent only the tip of the iceberg, leaving scores of acid attack survivors who face lifelong scars and social stigma.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly warned state authorities to enforce restrictions on the sale of acid, but campaigners say it remains easy to purchase and inexpensive.