A 21-year-old woman is battling for her life at the intensive care unit of Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital after sustaining severe burn injuries during an acid attack inside her house early Tuesday morning.
Doctors said she suffered severe burn injuries and is critical. The attackers had brought a litre of acid that was allegedly poured on Gulista, who was recently engaged, with the intent to disfigure her.
The empty bottle was later recovered by her family, raising suspicion that the entire substance was poured on the woman who was sleeping in her house.
“It was between 2 and 3am when we heard her shouting. We initially thought it was a fire but later we realised someone poured acid on her. She was in deep pain and crying ... The assailant/s probably entered the house from stairs leading from the roof,” said Sanjeeda, the victim’s elder sister.
Sources said the liquid was concentrated. The family stays in a locality under Kotwali police station of Ghaziabad.
Gulista was recently engaged to a man from Khurja and her wedding was to be finalised after April. Her parents and siblings were busy in marriage preparations. Sanjeeda also got married on March 17.
On Monday night, Gulista was sleeping on the bed used by her father as he and her brother had left for the Ghazipur vegetable market.
“I had come to my parents’ house for my first visit after my marriage. We don’t know about the attacker/s. They probably switched off all the lights before committing the crime. We recovered a plastic can of a litre in which the substance was brought. She suffered injuries on her face, chest and lower body parts and rushed to hospital from where she was referred to Delhi,” she added.
In their police complaint, the family did not name anyone and said they had no rivalry with anyone. The victim is fourth of her six siblings, including four sisters and two brothers. The police lodged an FIR lodged under section 326A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc) of IPC.
“We suspect the attacker could be someone who knows the victim or the family. We will record her statements once she recovers. We have started investigation,” said Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police (SP – city).
The family is now worried about her marriage. “She has suffered burns on the forehead, eye and lower body parts. We somehow got married our elder sister in Bulandshahr and were preparing for Gulista’s marriage. But now we don’t know whether her prospective in-laws and husband will be willing to go ahead with the marriage. Her fiancé has also reached hospital to inquire about her condition,” said Zahid, victim’s younger brother.
“However, the bigger question before us is her survival. We have been told that chances are slim,” he added.