Nine years since acid attack, victim still begging for justice

Nine years since acid attack, victim still begging for justice

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File photo of Sonali Mukherjee

New Delhi:  In 2002, Sonali Mukherjee, a 19-year-old girl from Jharkhand, topped her college and was aspiring to be a professor someday. But less than a year later, her world fell apart when three men, whose advances she had been spurning for a while, threw acid on her. Today, nine years since the incident, Sonali and her family are still struggling from day to day to pay for her treatment. She has now appealed to the state for help.

"The pain and the torture of the last nine years I can't even describe in words. I am appealing to the state to help me, get me justice, otherwise I don't want to live," she says.

On April 22, 2003, the three men who had been making advances came late at night and poured acid all over Sonali, who was fast asleep on the terrace of her house in Dhanbad, Jharkhand. With 72 per cent burns, she was lucky to have survived, but lost her sight, her face, her body and life as she knew it. Each day since then has been a struggle for her.

Sonali's family, which does not have much to begin with, has sold every last thing they owned for her treatment, but she is far from okay - both physically and emotionally.

Her attackers included a 40-year-old married man, and an 18-year-old. The teenager was let off on account of being a juvenile, the other two were convicted for nine years, but appealed to a higher court and got out in just four, while Sonali continues to struggle to put together the Rs 15 lakh she still needs for her treatment.

"Everything we owned has been sold, including cows, but till today I'm fighting," said her father Chandi Das Mukherjee.

Sonali's family says they can't do it alone anymore.

"I am appealing to everyone through you to help me... I am really desperate," she says.

How you can help:

Send your cheques to: Chandi Das Mukherjee

Account Number: 0612000103217964
Punjab National Bank, New Delhi

Or contact her brother at: 09437638600

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