Aniket (name changed), 15, woke up with a start around 5am when he heard a woman screaming. He went running out of the house into a narrow lane, and saw his mother crumpled on the ground, writhing in pain.
Aniket spotted a man with his face covered with a shawl, standing at a distance, and started to chase him. Within a few minutes, the teenager overpowered his mother’s assailant, and was stunned when he pulled the cloth covering the man’s face.
“It was my father,” Aniket told HT. “I still can’t believe that my father would throw acid on my mother... I hope he never gets out of jail,” he said.
Though he was taken by surprise by the attack, Aniket said his father had always been abusive. “He would hit me and my mother over petty issues. He would come home drunk and get furious at my mother for going to work. He accused her of having an affair and would start beating her with whatever he would find,” said Aniket.
Tired of the abuse, the woman, Asha (name changed), returned to her parents’ house in Vasai (West) six months ago.
Relatives claim Asha had tried to commit suicide two years ago by consuming poison.
“Asha had married around 17 years ago without her parents’ consent. Though the suicide attempt softened her parents, her husband still continued to abuse her,” a relative said.
Aniket said his mother had lived a hard life, and always hoped that his father would change his ways.
When he quit working as an autorickshaw driver, she took up a job in a private firm.
“My mother put up with him [my father] for so many years, but he could never change,” the teenager said.