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Acid attack victim may lose sight
User ID: 219044
04/05/2007 05:14 AM
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Acid attack victim may lose sight
By Tony Gardner
AN ACID attack victim could be left permanently blinded after corrosive chemicals were thrown in his face outside his Leeds home.
Police said today Sikh community leader Amarjit Singh Uppal, 49, may have been targeted by the attacker who lain in wait for him.
Doctors treating the father-of-four for horrendous facial injuries fear he may never regain his sight after the seemingly unprovoked attack.
Police today said there was nothing to suggest the incident was racially motivated.
Mr Uppal was getting out of his car on Carr Manor Road in Moortown, Leeds, at about 8.30pm on Tuesday evening when he saw a black man in his late 20s approach with a metal tray.
He appeared to be mixing a solution, which he threw in the victim's face before running away.
The substance was corrosive enough to damage the paintwork of two cars but police do not yet know what it is.
Det Insp Adrian Taylor said: "This is a nasty attack and the victim may be permanently blinded.
"The victim is a family man who is not known to the police in any way.
"At the moment it is being treated as an unprovoked attack.
"It is an horrendous attack. These injuries are serious and catastrophic for his and his family's life."
Detectives believe he was the intended target but Mr Uppal has told police that he did not know the man who attacked him.
He is to be interviewed again to build up any background which may explain why the attack happened.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said the attack was not being treated as racially motivated but will not be ruled out until Mr Uppal has given a full statement.
Mr Uppal, who was assistant general secretary at the Sikh temple in Chapeltown Road, Leeds, managed to get inside the semi detached home to rinse his eyes before an ambulance arrived.
He was in hospital last night being comforted by his distraught wife and family members.
Police officers were yesterday conducting fingertip searches around the scene.
Neighbours described Mr Uppal as a quiet and respectable family man.
One man, who asked not to be named, said: "He is quite well-known in the
Sikh Indian community.
"He volunteers as a secretary at the Gujarat temple and is very well-respected.
"It's a horrendous attack. I have no idea at all why someone would do this to him, especially because it appears the person targeted him."
Nirmal Singh, a secretary at the temple, said Mr Uppal was employed by an engineering firm and also did a lot of voluntary work at the temple.
He said: "He is a non-smoker and non-drinker and has been involved at the temple for several years.
"what has happened is terrible and very sad. We will say prayers for him on Friday."
The suspect is thought to have ran along Carr Manor Road after the attack.
He is described as black, aged 25-30, about 5ft 5ins tall.
He wore a short dark jacket and dark trousers.
Any witnesses or anyone with information should contact West Yorkshire Police on 0113 241 3259 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Last Updated: 05 April 2007
[link to www.leedstoday.net]
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