Chanchal Paswan, a Girl from Patna , Bihar has been the next victim of Brutal Acid Attack in the country and is struggling for her life in Patna Hospital. The incident took place 4 months ago, but was brought to light when some online volunteers raised this issue.
On night of October 21 last year while she was asleep with her family, four men threw acid on her and her sister. This was a direct result of Chanchal’s bold move to oppose continuous sexual harassment by these men.
This incident occurred in village Chithnava in the Maner Block of Patna District.
Chanchal aged 19 and her Sister aged 15 were asleep on the terrace of her house . Around midnight, Anil Rai, Ghanshyam Rai, Baadal and Raja Rai climbed up on the roof while the girls lay asleep.
The men then proceeded to hold Chanchal down as they viciously and deliberately poured acid over her with the malicious intent to hurt, humiliate and destroy her. Her sister too, was hurt in this cruel attack.
The girls’ screaming woke up their parents Sunaina Devi and Shailesh Paswan who rushed up to the terrace seeing which the men ran off. The girls were rushed to PMCH by their parents and uncle, post which they were admitted into emergency care.
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.
Anil, Ghanshyam, Baadal and Raja had been harassing Chanchal and her family for a long time. Whenever she would travel to go to her computer coaching classes at Dhanapur, they would get into her auto and harass her. Not only would they follow her wherever she went, the local market or anywhere near her house, they would also pull her dupatta, pass sexual innuendos and make obscene gestures at her, haranguing her constantly.
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 terrorised Chanchal’s entire family.
Chanchal was not only a brilliant student, but also a dedicated earning member of her family. She contributed to her family’s income by working in the fields around her village. She had a bright future which has been ruined by the four accused.
But, proper Justice is still an illusion for her. According to her Father, Chanchal who is a major has 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 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.
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. This too came after protests and pressure from women’s rights organizations.
Talking to Reporters, her Father Sailesh Paswan said, ” Four men from our district in Patna had been harassing her for months. One night they got into our house and threw acid on Chanchal and her sister. Though these four accused have been arrested, their trial hasn’t started yet”.
“They threw acid on my daughter. They did this because she protested their sexual advances”.
“It’s been more than 4 months since the gruesome incident and my family still lives in fear. But the strength that Chanchal has shown gives us hope that things will get better”.