Tears trickled down her eyes — which she could barely open — while narrating the horrific tale that shattered her world nine years ago. The acid attack on 23-year-old Rajwant Kaur in 2007 not only etched scars on her face, but also on her soul.
Though district court in its verdict last week sentenced her tormentor to life imprisonment, she says, “Neither time nor the court verdict can heal these wounds.”
Her dulcet tone turned into a choked voice, when asked how contented she was with the court’s verdict.
She said, “Unnu tan aj umar kaid di saza hoyi hai, mainu te mere maa-pyo nu unne 9 saal pehle hi umar kaid deti si (He has been sentenced to life in prison now, but he devastated our (Kaur and her parents) life nine years ago).”
“Today, my parents are there to look after me. Just the thought of losing my parents scares me. There seems no end to this misery,” she said.
Day before attack, accused was fired
A day before the incident, Rajwant and her two friends — Sandeep and Sonika — had complained of harassment meted out to Sandeep by a
co-worker. Following her complaint, accused Balkar Singh alias Bunty was thrown out of his job.
On April 1, 2007, as soon as the three friends alighted from a bus, the accused poured a mug of acid on them.
Sandeep succumbed to her burn injuries at the hospital on June 27. Rajwant, who was only 14 at that time, was left with a scarred face and damaged eyes, and Sonika suffered minor injuries.
Rajwant covers her face with a dupatta because she doesn’t want anyone to see her face.
Admn’s promise of govt job to sibling never materialised
Her father Joginder Singh, who works as security guard in a factory at Focal Point, said, “Nine years on and she (Rajwant) is still undergoing treatment. Next week we are going for her eyebrow surgery. We have already spent more than `15 lakh on her treatment. We are burdened with debt. The administration promised to provide government job to one of her siblings, but nothing materialised.”
“Rajwant has been operated seven times. Surgeries were performed on her nose, throat, right ear (the ear was mutilated in the incident with no hearing loss) and forehead. And she has 5-7% vision only in her right eye,” Singh said.
Family got Rs 2 L relief from govt in 2015
Last year, Rajwant’s family received a compensation of `2 lakh from the state government following the high court order. But, Rajwant said, “No compensation in the world can fill the void in her life.”
Rajwant takes Braille lessons
Six months ago, Rajwant joined Braille School on Chandigarh Road. She has instilled a hope in her parents, who believe that she will be able to earn her living.
What led to the attack
Rajwant Kaur and her friends —Sandeep Kaur (deceased), and Sonika — used to work in a thread factory. Accused Balkar also worked at the same factory. Despite Sandeep’s reluctance, Balkar repeatedly forced her to accept his friendship proposal. Tired of the daily harassment at workplace and on the way, Sandeep complained against Balkar to the factory owner who fired him. A few days later, when Sandeep, Rajwant and Sonika alighted from the company’s bus at Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar Chowk, Balkar threw acid on them.