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Crying for justice: she lost her face in acid attack

By News Agency of Kashmir


Jammu : Suffering from male-chauvinism syndrome, he made her life an unending saga of miseries by disfiguring her face with acid, a face that could give many beautiful women a run for the charm she possessed.  A religious teacher by 'profession,' he committed this inhuman crime because the victim objected to his immoral advances.


It was in the month of November when every one was shivering with cold, twenty six year old Gulnaz was burning in hell. Three youth threw highly concentrated Sulphuric acid towards her melting away the skin and flesh of her beautiful countenance, besides damaging right eye.


Still wondering for the reasons, the mother of two daughters has not only lost her youthfulness in the attack but also the trust and faith on the law enforcing agencies which has forced her to run from pillar to post to seek justice. She suspects that the main persons, a religious teacher, responsible for her present condition did this out of vengeance because she had once rebuffed him for making sexual advances.  


A resident of Kishtwar, about 270 kilometers from here, Gulnaz Banoo is married to Irshad Ahmed Waza and mother of two minor daughters. Belonging to a poor family, the couple was running a grocery shop, which was the only source of survival for the family.


Once possessing a charm which every girl will dream about, the woman is completely disfigured today with one damaged eye. "Some times I feel I should die but I have to live for my children".


"It was like burning in hell," she says while recalling the fateful evening of November 16, 2006 when three youth poured acid on her face. "It went all of a sudden and I was not even aware that anything of that sort is in their mind".


Unlike most of the cases, this victim knows the suspect and has revealed their name to the police. However, ironically the police FIR speak contrary to the claims of the victim.


"I have categorically named Sajad Hussain, a teacher, Liyaqat Malla son of Mustafa Malla and Masood Ahmed Akhoon son of Muhammad Irfan Molvi all residents of Muhalla Kamgar, Kishtwar to the police but the copy of FIR given to me has a different story to tell", she says.


"It was these three youth who poured the acid on my face in front of my eyes but even after six months the culprits are at large and police investigation does not speak even a single word about them".


 The victim claims that she had gone to purchase fish in a nearby shop when the accused attacked her, while the police FIR claim that she had gone to make a call from a local phone booth.


Gulnaz has the answer, "The police is hand in glove with the accused and has pressurized me on several occasions to enter into compromise with them". She claimed that she has approached State Human Rights Commission and Sub Divisional Magistrate and was awaiting their response in this connection.


"I have been running from pillar to post to get justice", she says. However, she has not lost her hopes. "I will continue to fight till the culprits are punished", the confident Gulnaz says.  


She was now planning to approach National Commission for Women and State Accountability Commission for taking the guilty to task. "My grievance is not only against those who have made my life a living hell but against all those police officers who are shielding the guilty for their vested interests".