Dear BeyondHeadlines Readers!
As an Indian citizen, I am ashamed to inform you about a brutal acid attack case in Patna.
This happened in village Chithnava, Thana Maner, District Patna, Four men threw acid on Chanchal Paswan, 19 and her sister,15 while they were asleep, on 21/10/2012. This happened because Chanchal boldly opposed continuous sexual harassment by these men. In the above video, Chanchal’s family has given a public statement seeking justice from Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar, DM, N. Shravan Kumar, and DIG Weaker Sections, Arvind Pandey.
In the video, Chanchal is seen taking names of her culprits and had specially asked that her statement should go public.
Anil, Ghanshyam, Baadal and Raja had been harassing Chanchal and her family for a long time. Whenever she would travel to and fro for computer coaching classes at Dhanapur, they would get into her auto and harass her. Not only would they follow her where ever she went – the local market or anywhere near her house, but they would also pull her dupatta, pass sexual innuendos and make obscene gestures at her, haranguing her constantly.
What exactly happened on 21st October 2012?
Chanchal from Patna was asleep on the terrace of her house along with her younger sister. Around midnight, Anil Rai, Ghanshyam Rai, Baadal and Raj Rai climbed up on the roof while the girls lay asleep.
The accused then proceeded to hold Chanchal down as they viciously and deliberately poured acid over her with every malicious intent to hurt, humiliate and destroy. Her sister too, was hurt in this brutal attack.
When they heard their daughters screaming, the parents woke up, Sunaina Devi (mother) and Shailesh Paswan (father), rushed up to the terrace, that’s when the men ran off. The girls were rushed to PMCH by their parents and uncle, post which they were admitted into emergency care.
They had torn out the curtains in Chanchal’s home repeatedly, and had even ripped the girls’ clothes. If anyone protested or tried to stop these men, they would openly use casteist abuses, challenging anyone’s ability to do anything to them. This, coupled with their open threats to destroy Chanchal’s face if she did not give in to them, had terrorized Chanchal’s entire family.
The police arrested the four perpetrators, but they showed Anil Rai (who is a major i.e. over 18 yrs of age) to be a minor and had him shifted to a Juvenile Home.
Chanchal has a 10th std passing certificate that shows her date of birth to be 1/6/93 (Birth certificates are legally accepted as proof of age in India). But she was shown to be a minor in the police report and this meant that she received less compensation (as according to the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities act). She was also declared to be a non-earning member of the family, further diminishing the compensation amount. There was talk of the perpetrators paying for Chanchal and her sister’s treatment and plastic surgery costs but till date Chanchal’s family has been bearing these expenses. After the case was filed, they received only INR 242,000 as compensation after protests and pressure from women’s rights organizations.
The National and State Commissions for women has also taken no action on the case and have ignored it thus far.
She was not only a brilliant student, but also a dedicated earning member of her family. Chanchal contributed to her family’s income by working in the fields around her village. She had a bright future which has been ruined by these four accused.
Chanchal and her family need your support in getting speedy justice and compensation. Especially after the Justice Verma Committee report and last years Delhi gang rape case, the Chief Justice of India has asked for stricter laws against women atrocities.
I’ve seen how public pressure forced the authorities to take action during the Delhi Gang rape case and I want your help to ensure justice for my daughter.
That’s why I started a petition on Change.org telling District Magistrate of Patna to ensure speedy justice and provide adequete compensation for my daughter, Chanchal.
Chanchal narrates this brutal incident to me everyday as she struggles without proper treatment and compensation.
Watch my daughter’s statement and sign our petition.
Thank you for your help,