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Legal Victory for Acid Attack Survivors

The Supreme Court of India has announced judgement today in Public Interest Litigation, namely Parivartan Kendra Vs Union of India and others filed in 2013 through Varsha Jawalgekar, Secretary of Parivartan Kendra. The Honorable Court had announced 10 lakhs as compensation to each acid attack survivor.

An interim judgement in the same PIL is also extraordinary and progressive. The Court ordered that private hospitals must give proper and urgent treatment to the acid attack survivors free of cost. If denied, they will face contempt of court.

In Bihar, the compensation in 2013 while filing this PIL was only twenty five thousand rupees. The compensation has now increased 40 times in Bihar in comparison.

Read the full judgement of the court here.

Support Nawada Acid Attack Survivor

Md. Gayas Khan appeals for help for his 15 year old daughter, who survived an acid attack on 13 September 2015. To lend support for her medical treatment and recovery, please transfer funds to this account:

Account Number:  0968000100234953

IFSC Code:  PUNB0096800

Account Name:  Nuraisha Khatoon (Mother of Acid Attack Survivor)

Soni after acid attack

Parivartan Supporters Attacked While Advocating for Acid Attack Survivor

Background of Acid Attack

On 15th September 2015, Secretary, Parivartan Kendra, Ms. Varsha received an application from Md. Gayas Khan father Late Md. Kaushar Khan village Pachrukhi, P.S. Akbarpur, P.O. Rajhat, District Nawada stating his daughter Soni Parvin (Age 15) along with his daughter Afsari Parvin(Age 10) and his wife Nuresha Khatun (age 36) and himself were attacked with Acid by Md. Ahsan and Md. Belal on 13th September 2015. He said-

  1. That, his daughter was facing sexual harassment by Md. Ahsan. Md. Ahsan used to follow her, eve tease her with dirty abusive language, stop her on the way and harass her with indecent behavior, pressurize her to run away with him and marry him. His daughter used to protest and refuse his forceful proposals.
  2. That, his daughter told him that Md. Ahsan called on her mobile and was talking in dirty abusive language. He took help from people around and tried to persuade Md. Ahsan not to phone his daughter. But he continued doing so. He even forcefully entered Soni’s house and in front of her mother attempted to force her to run away with him and marry him.  Soni told him once again that she does not want to marry him and he should immediately leave her house. Md. Ahsan threatened her that he will ruin her life.
  3. That, on 13th September 2015 in the midle of the night, Md. Ahsan with his friend Md. Belal entered Soni’s house again. This time he was carrying acid with him. He passed Soni’s father who was sleeping in front of their house and entered the room where Soni was sleeping with her sister. He threw acid on Soni’s face and body. Acid also fell on Soni’s sister. They both shouted aloud in pain. Their parent came to save them and acid fell on them also. Total 4 people were injured in the family in the acid attack. After throwing acid, Md. Ahsan and Md. Belal ran away.
  4. That, he and his wife took their daughters to Nawada Sadar Hospital. Due to lack of facilities and expertise, they were referred to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).  In PMCH, they did not get medicines and treatment. Md. Gayas was worried about Soni’s critical condition. So he took her to a private hospital.
  5. That, in Nawada Sadar Hospital, police registered their statements where they mentioned the names of the accused. But one of the two attackers is still not arrested and freely roaming around and is threatening the family again. The case is not registered under 354. Their statements under 164 are not done.
  6. That, there are 4 people who were victimized in the brutal attack. They have not got a single penny as compensation.
  7. That, the founder-secretary met Soni and took her statements from her. Soni repeated the same facts as her father. She also appealed her to get her justice and rehabilitation.

In the light of the above said facts, Parivartan Kendra demands-

      1. Proper and free medical treatment for Soni, her sister and her parents which should also include psychological counseling for mental trauma.
      2. Arresting of the attackers immediately and severe punishment.
      3. Fast tracking of the case.
      4. Addition of section 354 to the FIR.
      5. Statements of the victims under 164.
      6. Compensation to all the 4 victims under Victim’s Compensation Scheme.
      7. Total rehabilitation and justice to the survivors.
      8. Ensure security of the survivors and their other family members and witnesses in their case.
      9. Implementation of the orders of the honorable Supreme Court in preventing acid attacks.
      10. Ban on sell of acid in the open market.

Parivartan’s Involvement and Attack at PMCH

After receiving an application from Soni’s father, Secretary, Parivartan Kendra, Ms. Varsha called the District Magistrate on phone and asked her to help the acid attack survivor. She took cognigence and called the Superintendent of the PMCH and asked him to take Soni back to PMCH. He sent an ambulance and Ms. Varsha along with Soni’s father Md. Gayas Khan and her aunty took her to the PMCH on 16th September 2015.

Md. Gayas Khan called Ms. Varsha on 17th September 2015 and complained that the treatment in PMCH is not proper for Soni as her situation was deteriorating.  So Varsha and Md. Gayas Khan met the District Magistrate, Patna and asked her for treatment. (Receiving of the application given to the DM is scanned and attached.) She also sent the same copies to SSP, Women’s Commission, Human Rights Commission, and Minorities Commission at both sate and national level.

Though the DM again called the superintendent and asked for the treatment, the medical negligence went on. Md. Gayas Khan called Ms. Varsha on 19th and told that the treatment has still not improved. Ms. Varsha went to the PMCH at around 5 in the evening. She saw that Soni was not kept in ICU. She was kept in ward 303. The weather was hot and humid. And because the AC was not functioning, it was hotter inside the ward. There were around 6-7 patients in that room and each patient had their attendants so the room had become quite congested and it was hard to breath air. Every patient in that ward was a burn patient. They were in a bad condition as it was hot and humid in the room. Soni’s father complained that Soni is not kept in the ICU though she has 42% burn. The doctors do not attend the patient. It was difficult for Soni to and other patients to survive in that ward. In addition, the hospital does not provide medicines. Patients must purchase their own medicine and there is no doctor to attend. Soni’s condition was deteriorating.

After watching and listening to this bad condition of Soni and other burn patients in ward 303, Ms. Varsha talked to the junior doctor Nagmani about the situation of Soni. He asked her to talk to the senior doctor Dr. Ajay Kumar. Soni was in his unit and her treatment was going under this doctor. Ms Varsha called Dr. Ajay kumar on his mobile and briefed him about Soni’s situation and asked him to shift Soni to the ICU. He spoke to Dr. Nagmani and asked to shift Soni to ICU.

While Soni was being shifted to the ICU, suddenly a man entered 303. He started shouting at Nagmani in insulting words and asked him with whose permission is he shifting Soni to ICU. Nagmani looked afraid and he pointed at Ms. Varsha. This man came to Ms. Varsha. He started touching her body with bad intentions and while doing so he was saying, “you beautiful woman, why do you need to sweat here in this heat. Come with me.” Varsha protested by asking who he is and why is he misbehaving with her. He became angry and started shouting at her and said, “You do not know me? I will make you know who I am.” He also abused her by saying in abusive language that he will tear her body in two pieces.  Varsha told him that If he is a doctor, he should know that she has talked to senior doctor for shifting Soni to the ICU. He should not behave in  an indecent manner with her. He became very angry and threatened her and said that he will show what is indecent. While saying this, he slapped Varsha. He beat her on her head with his fists. He manhandled her.  He pulled her sari and tore her blouse. He also broke her glasses. The father of Soni, Varsha’s colleague Sunita, and the attendants stopped him and saved Varsha. Varsha was informed by Dr. Nagmani that this man is a doctor and his name is Dr. Satyapal.

Ms. Varsha called the District magistrate on her mobile. She informed the DM that she was attacked by Dr. Satyapal. The DM told her to call the Senior Superintendent of Police(SSP). Varsha called a friend and asked for SSP’s number. She called the SSP and told him that she is attacked by Dr. Satyapal. SSP told her that he is sending the police there. He went out and mobilized other junior doctors and brought them with him and attacked Varsha again in the same ward, no. 303. This time beating her with hands, legs and fists. They also beat Sunita with kicks and misbehaved with her too. When Varsha was becoming unconscious, she saw the police from Peerbahor P.S. had arrived.

The police asked Sunita and Md. Gayas Khan to bring Ms Varsha on the ground floor to the control room and they left. While Sunita and Md. Gayas Khan were bringing me down, Dr. Satyapal attacked us again and this time they bet Md. Gayas Khan along with Ms. Varsha and Sunita. They threatened Md. Gayas Khan that they will kill Soni( his daughter who is an acid attack survivor). Before they ran away, they again misbehaved and harassed Varsha.

The H.O.D. and the Principal of PMCH pressurized Varsha not to take legal actions. They also threatened her that they will trap her in a case under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities act. Varsha requested to provide treatment for her injuries but they went on shouting at her and pressurized her. They blindly took sides of Dr. Satyapal and went on provoking the junior doctors because of which the Junior Doctors went on strike.  They did this because they were afraid that the medical negligence they committed would be exposed. To cover the fact they did medical negligence, they also decided to save Dr. Satyapal and others who committed sexual harassment of Varsha  and beat Sunita and Md. Gayas Khan along with her and threatened Md. Gayas Khan  to kill his daughter Soni. Varsha filed an FIR against Dr. Satyapal and others and also the H.O.D. of Plastic Surgery and Burns Department and also the Principal.

While the Junior doctors were on strike, many patients died and many were in serious condition. To control this situation, the police gave in their demands to file false cases against Ms. Varsha and they filed false cases against Varsha.

Ms. Varsha has given application to Bihar state Women’s Commission. They have taken cognigence against Dr. Satyapal and others and summoned them on 5th October, 2015.

Please call the District Magistrate of Patna on +91-9473191198 and the Chief Minister of Bihar and urge them to take action in this case.