...meanwhile, 7 yrs later, another victim lives in trauma

LudhianaRajwant Kaur, one of the three victims of an acid attack, sits with her face covered at her house in Ludhiana. Gurmeet Singh

She covers her face with her dupatta as she sits on a charpoy in the verandah of her small house. She does not want anyone to see her face, which was burnt in an acid attack in 2007. She needs someone's help for her daily chores because while one of her eyes has no vision, only five to seven per cent vision is left in the other.

Rajwant Kaur (20) was one of the three victims of an acid attack, which happened when three friends were on way to work at a thread making factory. While Sandeep Kaur died after struggling for three months in hospital, Sonika got away with minor injuries. The girls were attacked because they had complained against a boy who had been harassing them.

Rajwant still remembers April 1, 2007. "On March 31, 2007 three of us (all residents of Baba Jeewan Singh Nagar) had complained to the factory owner about Balkar Singh Bunty, a coworker. He was misbehaving with us. The owner kicked Bunty out of job the same day," she said. The next day, when the girls were coming down from the staff bus, Bunty - who was waiting with a mug of acid - poured it on them.

Seven years later, the court is yet to give its verdict in the case, though Bunty is in jail. On every hearing, the families of Sandeep and Rajwant go to the court. "The next date of hearing is on December 19. We miss our day's work on the day of hearing and spend money for transport to reach the court," said Joginder Singh, Rajwant's father, who is a factory worker.

Balwinder Kaur, Rajwant's mother, added: "We cannot even leave her alone because she cannot see. She never goes out with us due to the burns all over her face and arms. We never got any relief from the authorities, though we visited the then minister Hira Singh Gabria a number of times.'' Rajwant has two brothers who are doing small jobs.

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