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Karnataka: Acid Attack Survivor Sumana’s Wait Is Over As Accused Imprisoned For Life

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Chikmagalur: Chemical burns, scars, and disdain of life — with these aspects acid attack survivors have to live most of their lives. With burnt Skin and disfigured faces, their lives are thrown into jeopardy. On the flip side, it takes years for the accused to get a jail sentence from the courts. One such hapless situation was faced by an acid attack survivor — Sumana KG — in Karnataka’s Sringeri. 

She was constantly mocked by her tormentors and there was nothing she could do about it. Her one eye taken away and her face disfigured even after 18 surgeries, Sumana stoically endured physical and mental trauma as she doggedly pursued justice for almost six years after the vicious acid attack. On Friday, July 16, a local judge ensured that her attackers paid dearly for their heartless act.

The Second Additional Sessions Court awarded life imprisonment to the four accused and imposed a collective fine of Rs 20 lakh on them. The incident had taken place on the evening of April 18, 2015. Investigations revealed that Ganesh a.k.a. Gani, her classmate, planned the attack with Mohammad Kabir and Abdul Majeed. It was Majeed who poured acid on Sumana on the pretext of asking for an address. The fourth accused, Vinod Kumar, provided information about Sumana’s movements to the others on that fateful day.

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Sumana has had 18 surgeries performed on her eyes, nose and shoulders. Night after night, she has to attach gum tape to her remaining eye as she no longer has eyelids. She also needs to fix a thin pipe to her nose while sleeping. As Sumana suffered unspeakable pain, battling between life and death, Ganesh, who was out on bail, was unrelenting. When she came out of the hospital, he kept tormenting her mentally and emotionally.

For the police, it was a tough case to crack because Sumana had no idea who her attackers were, nor were there any eyewitnesses. Against these odds, ACP Sudheer M. Hegde investigated the case and filed the chargesheet. Over the past six years, Sumana was haunted by the fear that the accused would get away from the clutches of the law. Hegde, she said, gave her the moral support she needed to keep her sanity intact.

Sumana’s son was three years old when he first saw her after the attack. The doctors and the family said to him that she had suffered injuries on her face. The boy could not stop crying for several days. Six years on, he seems to have reconciled himself to his mother’s disfigured look. Following the unbearable pain after the series of surgeries, Sumana decided not to undergo another operation to fix an artificial eyeball. After the attack, she had actually seen one eye melting and coming out. She now manages with one eye.

(With inputs from IANS)

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