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25 July 2012

Kashmiri acid attack victim let down by law

gul-naaz_350_071912040002.jpgShe waited for justice for seven years but it was all in vain. Gul Naaz came to know earlier this week that a court has exonerated the men accused of throwing acid on her and leaving her disfigured for life

Her fault: She had dared to open a beauty parlour in Kishtwar district of Jammu.

"Two men who threw acid on me were arrested. They were kept in the police station for a night and released the next day. The case went to the sessions court. I was called once to record my statement. I was told that I'll be called again, but it never happened," Naaz, 34, said.

"The police informed me on Tuesday that the case has been closed and the accused exonerated by the court," she said, adding that she plans to file an appeal against the decision.

In 2006, Naaz, who has three children, opened a beauty parlour in Kishtwar to earn her livelihood as her husband had suffered serious injuries in a traffic accident.

She said two men - Sajjad Ahmad and Liyqat Ali - told her to close down the beauty parlour or she would have to face serious consequences.

"I just laughed at Sajjad, who was also the imam of a local mosque. I thought they were joking. But one day they executed the threat," Naaz said.

The attack damaged one eye completely. "Whatever money I had, I spent that on my treatment. All these years I have gone through hell for nothing and those who did it are roaming freely," she said.

Kulbir Singh, additional SP of Kishtwar, said the police filed a chargesheet against the accused some months later. "We don't know what happened in the court," he said.

According to the police, there seemed to be some personal rivalry between the woman and the men, which led to the attack.


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