Chennai/New Delhi : She wakes up in the dead of night and screams with tears rolling down her cheek as the memory of February 1 acid attack still haunts her, say family members of a Jammu and Kashmir woman who is waiting to regain her sight and see light at the end of the tunnel at a specialised eye hospital in Chennai.
“We have been with her since February 1, the unfortunate day when a monstrous person threw acid on my sister’s face in downtown Srinagar. We dread that day,” says 22-year-old Arizoo Nisar, sister of the acid attack survivor.
The family is thankful to a businessman-turned-politician, who prefers anonymity, for bearing all hospital expenses and to the Jammu and Kashmir government for transporting them to Chennai and also expressed gratitude to police for completing the investigation into the case in record time.
“I am sure that the culprits would be punished and their punishment would deter others having a similar mentality,” her father Nisar Chilloo says.
Arizoo says that her sister who has undergone six major and minor surgeries so far had some peace when she heard that the Jammu and Kashmir Police has filed a charge sheet against all the three accused.
“She was having sleepless nights and often woke up in the dead of night with a shout to the family members to save her from the monster who disfigured her by throwing acid on her,” Arizoo said in a choked voice.
She said that she had informed her sister about the police charge sheet.
“Generally she is quiet after the incident but that day she hoped to see that justice is delivered sooner,” she said.
Her cousin Sajjad Misgar, who is accompanying the family to Chennai, said doctors have performed three surgeries on her eyes so far but since her left eye has shrunk badly due to the impact of the acid, whether she will get back her vision remains uncertain.
“The doctors are trying their best and gave her a stem cell treatment to build the pressure in her eyes. Let us keep our fingers crossed and I am sure that our prayers and efforts of the hospital will allow my sister to regain her sight,” Misgar said.
Besides the eye surgeries, three skin grafting procedures have been done to reconstruct her face, he said.
Advocate Mir Naveed Gul, representing the woman’s family, recalled his first meeting with her and said “she is definitely a brave woman who has managed to raise her voice against the injustice. I am sure one day she will be up on her feet and see with her own eyes when the judicial system deals with the accused in this case.” The Jammu and Kashmir Police recently filed a 1,000-page charge sheet against three people — Sajid Altaf Rather and Mohammad Saleem Kumar alias Tota, and a juvenile against whom the police have prayed for being treated as an adult as per the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, whereby youngsters in the age group of 16-18 can be tried under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they are accused of heinous crimes.
The accused were charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 326-A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid) of the IPC.
“We have filed a water-tight charge sheet and we will make a plea to the court for a daily hearing in this case. If a daily hearing is not possible, we would request the honourable court for a speedy trial,” Senior Superintendent of Police (Srinagar) Rakesh Balwal had said.
The charge sheet was filed within three weeks of the incident to ensure swift and exemplary punishment to the accused and to deter those who may be having such “barbaric” tendencies, officials said.
“The maximum punishment under these sections is life sentence and the minimum is 10 years but we will press for maximum so that it acts as a deterrent,” Balwal had said.