"For the last six days she had stopped talking. Only the beep of the life-supporting instruments told us that she was breathing. Then that stopped too," said Dalvir Kaur, as she sat in a Mumbai hospital. The silence announced the death of her daughter, acid attack victim Harpreet Kaur, who lost the battle for life on Friday after 20 days of hospitalisation.
The Barnala girl had been shifted to Mumbai for treatment, but the damage to her internal organs were too deep.
Harpreet, who was attacked while she was undergoing bridal makeup at a salon hours before her wedding, was the victim of a feud in the family of her groom.
Amitpal Kaur, a divorced sister-in-law of the groom, who is now in the police net, had apparently vowed not to allow another wedding in the family. That she did it after a second marriage and despite having a boyfriend only underscores the revenge motive, the police said. She had planned the attack meticulously, promising her boyfriend and two others Rs. 10 lakh. Even the first installment, Rs. 1.5 lakh, had been paid.
"During questioning, Amitpal said she did not wish to see the family celebrating," said a police officer on condition of anonymity.
Now, with the accused arrested and charged with murder, the police, who also paid a chunk of Harpreet’s hospital bills, say they will seek death penalty.
But Dalvir is far from thinking of justice. The wound is too fresh.
"Harpreet wanted to live. But each day one of her organs failed. I used to lie and tell her that she would be cured soon and the wedding would take place," she said. "But the boy’s family did not even have the courtesy to contact us after the incident."