On 13 September 2015, Mohammed Gyas Khan and his family were at home in Pachrukhi village, Bihar when two men forcibly barged in and flung acid at his 15-year old daughter. In the tussle with the intruders, who have been identified as Mohammed Ehsaan and Mohammad Belal, Khan, his wife and their younger daughter (9) also sustained burns from the deadly chemical, whose sale has long been banned.
The next 24 hours were harrowing. The Khans shuttled from one health facility to another. First, the survivor received First Aid at a district hospital but was referred to the bigger Patna Medical College Hospital for further treatment. When they got to the state capital's premier public health facility, they were kept waiting there by workers who cited a lack of facilities. Finally, the survivor was taken to a private hospital in Patna where she is currently under treatment.
According to the family, the motive for the attack was the same old story which has seen hundreds of girls attacked in a similar fashion. "Mohammad Ehsaan would call me up and harass me. When I refused to marry him, he threatened to destroy my life," says the 15-year old acid attack survivor.
While Ehsaan has been arrested, Belal is still on the run.
How and where did the criminals buy the chemical whose sale has been restricted by the Supreme Court of India? It has been 2 weeks since the incident, so why has only one of the two perpetrators been caught? And when is the victim going to receive the minimum compensation -Rs 3 lakh - promised to acid attack survivors by the Supreme Court of India?
Community Correspondent Varsha Jawalgekar, has been working tirelessly with the team at Parivartan Kendra, a Bihar-based non-profit which she leads, to ensure that the 15-year old survivor receives comprehensive medical care and compensation.
Acid attacks are one of the most horrendous methods chosen by criminals to attack their chosen targets. Despite the near-ban on the sale of acid, a total of 309 cases of acid attacks were reported in the year 2014 alone.
Let's take action!
Please call the District Magistrate of Patna on +91-9473191198 and appeal to him to:
- Release compensation for the survivor and her family;
- Arrest Mohammad Belal, the second perpetrator
- Regulate and monitor the sale of acid as per SC guidelines
UPDATE : The survivor has received a compensation amount of Rs 1 lakh. However, she is yet to receive the rest. She is now being treated at Max Hospital, Gurgaon.
Strong winds accompanied by heavy rains flattened all of the standing crops.