‘Lives Ruined Overnight’: Surat Man Attacks Wife, 3 Kids With Acid
Four siblings in Surat lost their mother after their father poured acid on them on the night of 8 August 2019.
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
“I thought someone had thrown hot water over me. Later, when I came out of the house, I saw my father running away from the spot. He had threatened to kill us before. We kept ignoring the signs.”
In one night, four young lives in Surat were shattered after their father poured acid on them and fled. The night of 8 August 2019, still haunts the four siblings who lost their mother, 20 days after the deadly attack. Their father is now in custody of the Gujarat police.
‘My Father Made my Sister Watch ‘Tezaab’ Hours Before He Poured Acid on Us’
Twenty-two-year-old Bhargav is waiting to take his final exams for MBBS in June but has already shouldered the responsibility of his two sisters and younger brother. “If I don’t do it, there is nobody left to take care of them.”
He recalls the dreadful night when the tragedy unfolded. “I wish one of us woke up that night. Our lives would have been different.”
“My father came home at around 9 pm and everyone ate food together. Then, he said he had a movie loaded in his phone and anyone who wanted to watch can watch. My eldest sister, Pramila, said, ‘Give, I want to watch.’ He made her watch the movie ‘Tezaab’. After this, everyone went to sleep. At around 2:30-3:00 am, my father poured acid on all of us and left.”
Pramila, the eldest of the four siblings, suffered maximum burns, but on that night she was the one who ran to her uncle, residing in the neighbourhood, to call for help.
She has lost vision in one eye, her face has suffered serious burns, her husband is refusing to ‘accept her’ and yet she wants to meet her father one last time.
“I just want to ask him one question. What did he get by spoiling all our lives?”Pramila, 26
‘He Threatened to Kill us Before, We Ignored the Signs’
Bhargav’s father had allegedly thrashed his mother a couple of months before the accident. There were daily fights, the children say. He would often come home drunk. He would barely go to work and ask for money at home to buy alcohol. He had threatened to kill the entire family many times before, say his children. But they never thought his recklessness would translate to this.
“We thought he was saying all of that because he was drunk. My mother kept tolerating the nuisance because she was waiting for me to finish my education and become a doctor.”Bhargav, 22
‘Our Mother’s Absence Keeps Haunting us’
Five months since the tragey, an NGO Milaap provides the four siblings financial assistance for their physical surgeries. While they struggle to make peace with the drastic change in their lives, the absence of their mother haunts them the most.
The younger sister, Alpa, a first-year student of BA, has had to learn the household chores that she hated doing while her mother was alive.
“My mother always used to tell me, ‘Learn to cook... learn how to make rotis.’ Earlier, I would tell her, ‘I don’t want to learn... Why should I learn?’ to which, my mother would say, ‘You will understand when I am no more.’ And I would retort, ‘I will die before you.’”Alpa, 19
Alpa adds, “Now, whenever I cook, I feel like crying. I did not know my way around a kitchen before. I have had to learn how to cook on my own.”
The 19-year-old says, “ Whoever attacks using acid, they might not have anything in their minds. But those who have to suffer because of it, know how terrible it is.”
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