Disfigured Acid Attack Victim Pleads for Mercy Killing (India)

Posted on July 30, 2012

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As an innocent woman slept in the comfort of her own home, three young assailants came in the dead of the night and broke into her home. As she was in her bed, they poured a cocktail of acids over her face- burning her skin, melting her eyelids, nose, mouth and ears, leaving her partially deaf and almost blind.

The woman in their eyes had committed a crime, and that crime was rejecting their sexual advances. Nine years on, Sonali Mukherjee, 27 is appealing to the Indian Government for medical support for skin reconstructive surgery as well as tougher penalties on the three young boys, who were released on bail after only three years in prison.

Either, that she says or authorities should give her the right to kill herself. Mukherjee’s desperate plea highlights the heinous crime of throwing acid on women in India, the lack of support for victims, and the lax laws which have allowed attackers to get away with what activists say is the equivalent of murder.

The three men were her neighbors and harassed her as she left for college everyday at the age of 17 where she studied sociology. When she threatened to call the police, they took revenge, leaving her with 70% of her face, neck and arms burned. The men received nine year jail terms, but were out on bail in only three.

Acid is increasingly being used as a weapon but there are no licensing laws for those who sell or purchase the deadly chemicals. Acid Survivors Trust International reports that there are about 1,500 acid attacks around the world each year, with 80% of them on women.

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