Attacked thrice in under two months, Aarti Thakur is understandably traumatised.
“The first attack was on December 8 last year at Malwani, when an unidentified man slit her face with a blade. She sustained sixteen stitches above her lip,” said Aarti's mother Seema Kishore Thakur. “The second attack took place a fortnight ago at Nallasopara when two men tried to beat her up. But she managed to escape.”
Seema, who lives with her two daughters, moved her family from Malwani to Nallasopara after the first attack. “We were extremely scared. It was not a stray incident; I knew that my daughter had been deliberately attacked by my landlady's son, Nasir Shaikh. We could no longer stay in that house and moved to Nallasopara,” Thakur said.
Pooja Thakur, Aarti's 20-year-old sister, said Aarti has become paranoid after the three attacks. “She is so scared that she won't even let us leave the hospital room. It started with the December attack. But after the Monday incident, she has become petrified and is inconsolable,” Pooja said.
Aarti got engaged recently and is due to get married soon. However, the acid attack has scarred her psyche. “Aarti's wedding is coming up, but she is extremely traumatised. Burn marks are visible on her chin, eyelids and neck,” said Aarti’s mother.
Her fiancé Nadeem Khan is unable to comprehend why anyone would attack the woman. “She does not have any grudges against anyone. But now the situation is such that she cannot leave the house alone,” he said.
A teary-eyed Aarti is equally at loss. “I leave home only to go to work. I do not have many friends. I have never had a major argument with anyone. I do not understand why someone is so desperate to harm me,” she said. “After three attacks, I am scared for the safety of my family as well.”