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Five years on, no relief for Kashmir acid attack victim’s agony

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Over five years have passed since stalkers threw acid on this young Kashmiri woman — completely melting her face.

But for 24-year-old Shazia (name changed), her agony looks far from over, despite braving continued medical treatment and other challenges to survive.

She has just undergone her twentieth surgery at a super-specialty hospital in Chennai. For the survivor, the specialised medical treatment in the south Indian metropolis, that too, far away from her homeland in the Himalayas, has been at a considerable cost.

Even though she comes from a humble background, the Jammu and Kashmir government has apparently declined to bear the expenses of the costly treatment.

Barring the token amount of around Rs ten lakh — given in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling for such cases — the state declined to extend any further assistance.

To bear the expenses, the family has sold off most of their valuables, including jewelry which Shazia's parents had stored over the years for her prospective marriage.

The acid attack on a young student shook Srinagar. Yet, she received only nominal assistance and has been left to cope on her own. (Photo: AP/Dar Yasin)

Showing a piling-up stack of bills, the family says they have already spent over rupees forty lakhs on the medical treatment, which needs follow-up consultations after every few months, when the patient has to be taken outside Kashmir.

It was December 11, 2014, when this then-student of Bachelors of Law met with the tragedy at Kashmir Law College in Srinagar.

On the wintry morning, she was just entering the campus, when life took an ugly turn, the splash of acid mauling her face. It was no ordinary acid but the king of acids, sulfuric acid, that the stalkers had used to revenge her resistance to their advances.

Apart from consuming a portion of her face and right eye in totality, the........

© DailyO