ACID ATTACKS

Know five most heinous acid attack cases in India

 

Living without a Face

In a male dominated society like India, most of the women have been facing exploitation and oppression  at every step of  their lives. 

 

A women has to face endless difficulties throughout her life. She has to struggle even before entering this world. 

 

And the male chauvinists in society  always tried to suppress or eliminate her- either in the form of female foeticide or in the form of child marriage, and this suppression leads to more crimes against women.

 

Acid attack is one of the most heinous crimes against women. It not only just  inflicts physical injuries but also destroys the victim's entire life, leaving the scars of the heinous crime on the body and mind of the victim.

 

Recently, the Supreme Court went to the extent of banning over the counter sale of acid in shops across India, but its direction is mostly on paper, as acid is still available to whosoever wishes to purchase.

 

 

We list here five such heinous cases of acid attacks against women:  


Preeti Rathi

A beautiful life was waiting for this bright student nursing student, Preeti Rathi, when she got the selection letter of short service commission in the military nursing service. But destimy has some other plans for her.

Preeti was supposed to join  naval hospital — Asvini — in Colaba, Mumbai, on May 15.

On  May 2, Preeti along with her father, unlce and aunt, reached Bandra station, Mumbai. It was then when an unidentified man, with his face half covered, threw acid on Preeti's face and fled.

This attack apart from giving unbearable pain, not only  damaged her eyes, infected her kidneys but the acid also entered her oesophagus, windpipe, and trachea.

After fighting  this unbearable pain,  Preeti succumbed to her injuries  and lost the battle of her life.

 

 

Haseena Hussain

Haseena, a 18-yr old  B.Com. student, was a computer professional in Bengaluru. In her first hear of graduation itself, she got a job in a software centre run by a former Indian Air Force employee, Joseph Rodriguez.

Things turned nasty, when the software centre incurred heavy losses and Haseena found herself a new job. This was unacceptable to Joseph and he tried every possible way to bring Haseena back to her firm.

But despite all his efforts, when Haseena declined his offer of joining him back again, it hurt his male chauvinist ego. 

On April 20,999,  Haseena left her  house at Jalahalli (Bengaluru North-East) around 8am, and as soon as she reached the office gate, a motorcycle-borne man splashed the liquid contents of a plastic jug on me and sped away, destroying her life forever.

Haseena not only just lost her eyesight in this attack, but it also damaged her entire body, and she  was bed ridden for nealry 10 years.

In fact even today also, she cannot walk without support and cannot sit straight.

This horrifying attack made a hole in her head, her nose and one of her earlobes were dissolved together, one side of her neck is welded to the shoulder, and her fingers got fused together.

 

Laxmi

Laxmi was attacked with acid by a spurned lover who was 17 years older to her, in 2005, when she  was merely 15 years old. 

She was attacked in the crowded Central Delhi area in daytime, where the spurned lover, along with his brother’s girlfriend, approached Laxmi, flung her and threw acid on her face

This attack disfigured her face, ears, hands and chest. The doctors had to remove the entire skin from her face.

Till now Laxmi has undergone 7 surgeries, and still need four more surgeries before she can go for a plastic surgery.

Though the acid attack left numerous scars on her body, but it could not scar her soul, her spirit. 

Rather than shutting her self in a room and hiding from the world for something she wasn't fault at for, she decided to come forward and fight against acid attacks.

 

Annu Mukharji

Annu Mukharji was a dancer in a hotel  in Delhi. On 19th December, 2004, Annu's co worker Meena Khan, who was also a dancer in the hotel, threw acid on Annu's face, out of sheer jealousy, rage and insecurity, as Annu  was earning more than her.

This deadly acid attack shook her entire life. She lost her eyes completely, her nose was mutilated. Her face was completely disfigured, so much that no one could dare to look at her until she got her nose reconstructed.

 

Meena Soni

Meena Soni faced the acid attack by her husband after 15 years of their marriage in Lucknow.

Meena was married off at the age of 16, and soon after her marriage, her husband quit his work. 

A mother of three, Meena decided to become the breadwinner of the family, which was not acceptable by her husband and would have arguments nearly every day.

In 2004, her husband pour acid on her face while she was asleep, and later he himslef committed suicide. 

Meena suffered 75 per cent burns on her face.But it did not change her spirit to live and she is now working for undertrial women in jails.

 

 

Statistics

There is no separate statistics for acid violence cases in India till early 2013 because the Indian criminal Law did not recognize it as a separate offence. With the amendment in Indian Penal Code  in February 2013, incidents of acid attack are now being recorded as a separate offence under section 326A and 326B. The first data available after the amendment relate to the year 2014 when 349 cases were reported from all over India. This indicates a steep rise compared to the previous years - 106 in 2012 and 116 in 2013.

 

The latest figures indcate that earlier estimates of likely number of cases at 100 to 500 per annum made on the basis of past records & comparison with neighbouring countries where similar socioeconomic conditions prevai, were perhaps nearer the truthl.

 

The Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery of Dec 2007 concluded that in India alone “we would estimate 700, 000 to 800, 000 burn injuries annually”. There is a big possibility of such cases being not only accidents but results of opposing and getting burnt. Indian Government statistics also show that an estimated 7000 brides are killed and 18000 are maimed every year in India over dowry disputes alone. We don't have any available data on acid attacks as cases can only be recorded under specific sections of IPC only. Acid attacks  not  being mentioned under any  separate section till 2013, past records prior to that date portray  a blank picture for acid attacks.

 

 

Acid Violence

Acid violence is a vicious, premeditated crime, involving throwing of corrosive acid on the face or exposed part with intent to scar and disfigure the victim. It seldom kills but devastates the sufferer’s life mentally, morally, physically and financially. The acid melts the flesh, sometimes to the bone.

 

Acid survivors, even with prompt medical attention, remain disfigured for life, exposed to social isolation and stigma which undermines their self-esteem. The trauma leaves them with persistent psycho-physical distress and socio-economic hardship.

 

Acid violence is a global phenomenon but occurs significantly amongst the poor.

 

It is not related to race, religion, creed, or location. It has occurred in South Asia, Laos, China, Japan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, Jamaica, Guyana, Algeria, Uganda, Afghanistan, Iran, Greece, Turkey, USA, Australia and the UK.

 

In India too the cases are not insignificant though earlier comparable statistics is not available, since the offence used to be clubbed with assault and grievous hurt.

 

Acid attacks are a form of violence primarily directed against women, where the perpetrator splashes a person with acid in order to deface or kill the person. Although acid throwing is a form of violence known to have been committed throughout history, there is a steep rise in the number of cases documented in recent years. Some of this increase has been attributed to better documentation, as also to the fact that the victims of such attacks have begun to report the attack more often. However, there appears to be a substantive increase in the number of acid attacks that are being committed in recent times due to various factors.

 

Acid attacks are considered particularly vicious as they cause perpetual suffering to the victim. As acid melts the flesh and even the bones of a person, it causes an unparalleled degree of pain, leaving the victim mutilated and scarred and sometimes resulting in permanent disabilities, for example, blindness. More often than not, attacks on women by the perpetrators are viewed as retaliatory or meant for teaching a lesson to adamant women.

 

 

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