The family of Barnala acid attack victim, Harpreet Kaur, has termed the life sentence to six convicts as ‘too little, too late’. Family members had demanded death sentence for the guilty.
On December 7, 2013, Harpreet had gone to a beauty salon in Ludhiana for her bridal make-up when one of the accused barged in and threw acid on her. Three women, including two beauticians, had sustained injuries in the attack. Harpreet had succumbed to her injuries three weeks later.
Victim’s mother Davinder Kaur said, “We are not aware about the compensation norms nor are we interested in it. We wanted death sentence for the guilty so as to deter any other person from throwing acid on anyone. We want ‘bullet for bullet’ and ‘acid for acid’ punishment norm.”
Remembering her daughter, she burst into tears and said, “How can someone be so cruel? I am still in a daze. My daughter struggled with death for 20 days.”
She added, “Harpreet’s death left her elder brother Daljit Singh in depression and he ended his life recently. He got married in 2014 and his son is just two-month old.”
‘Were offered up to Rs 1cr for settlement’
“The guilty offered us amount ranging from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 crore for settlement of the case. We don’t want money. We want justice, nothing less,” said Davinder.
Victim’s father Jaswant Singh, a barber by profession, said, “We spent nearly Rs 4.5 lakh on litigation as we had hired two counsels. We had to visit Ludhiana often to attend court hearings.”
He said, “My daughter’s groom Harpreet Singh of Doraha was living in Kolkata. We had given them Rs 1.25 lakh in cash and 40 gm gold. After her death, they didn’t return us anything.”
After the tragedy, Davinder was given employment as a peon in a Suwidha centre in Barnala on a measly salary of Rs 6,000 on compassionate grounds. She was relieved when Suwidha centres were winded up across the state.
Deputy commissioner Bhupinder Singh Rai said, “We will send a proposal to higher authorities recommending appointment of Davinder or her son Arshdeep in some suitable post.”