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Mother and daughter horribly scarred in brutal acid attack in India STILL live with attacker

Category: Gender based violence 
2017-07-24

Geeta Mahour, 40, and Neetu, 26, were horribly disfigured when Inderjeet Mahour, 60, drunkenly poured acid on his wife and daughter as they slept.

He also targeted his younger daughter Krishna, who subsequently died, in the attack in Agra, Uttar Pradesh in India.

Instead of finding safe refuge, Geeta could not afford to live off her mother, was too poor to live alone and was ostracised by the neighbours, so she forgave her husband and returned to the family home.

 

The couple went on to have a third daughter and although Inderjeet is largely civil to Geeta, he still flies into alcohol-fuelled rages, she says.

 

Speaking exclusively in an interview with Mail Online, she said: 'Even today when he gets drunk he threatens to kill us. But nothing bothers me now. I cry every night for the misery we are forced to live but this is our life.’

He daughter Neetu, who was blinded in the attack, has never questioned her mother's decision to go home and says she can barely remember what happened.

 

Neetu was just three years old when her father attacked her, her mother and sister.

At the time her parents' marriage was under strain and Geeta had taken her two younger girls to live with her mother.

She said: ‘My eldest daughter Rekha was at my in-laws house. We were sleeping in the courtyard when he quietly got inside and poured acid on us.

‘Even though I didn’t see him pour the acid, I knew it was him because he often used to threaten me: ‘don’t mess with me or I’ll ruin your face’.

'I remember screaming and screaming, my girls screaming and my mother running out. She called the police and we were admitted to hospital for three to four months.’

Geeta reported her husband to the police and he was arrested the following day.

But once Geeta and her girls were discharged from hospital life quickly got a lot worse.

‘I returned to my mother’s house after we were discharged from hospital but my mother had no money,’ Geeta said.

‘My father had died when I was just eight and now my mother had to take care of my younger brother and younger sister as well as me and my daughters. We had no money. My mother and brother worked just to buy us our medicines.’

Tragically, Geeta’s youngest daughter, Krishna, who was just 18 months old at the time, died of infection within a month of leaving hospital.

Geeta added: ‘We were so poor we didn’t even have enough money to buy a shroud for her dead body.

'I had to take off my petticoat and wrap her in that before floating her body in the river Ganges.’


Three months after the attack, while Inderjeet was still in prison, he wrote Geeta a letter asking for forgiveness.

Geeta said: ‘I got scared, dropped the charges and he was released. For the next 14 months I stayed with my mother but he kept visiting, always apologising.

‘People hated us. They laughed at us and looked at us with disgust. Neighbours even asked me to leave the area . I faced a lot of pressure. I was worried about our future.

'How was I going to raise my kids? So once my injuries healed and I felt stronger I went back to him. For many years he was nice to me and I shared a bed with him again and we had another daughter.’

Inderjeet said he is full of regret but Geeta claims he continues to drink too much and still gambles the family’s money.

Recalling the night, Inderjeet said: ‘That night I was drunk. One of my friends got the bottle of acid for me. I asked for a light composition so not to harm them much.

'But they washed themselves with water which made the acid boil. If they had wiped the chemical with a cloth it wouldn’t have had such an effect.

‘I regret that day very much. More when I see my girl Neetu. It makes me sad to see her like this. Whenever I see Neetu my heart cries.

'I said sorry to my wife and daughter. I asked them to forgive me and they did. We had our third daughter Poonam after the attack and now, we are all living together.’

Neetu suffered acid burns to her arms, chest, face and the acid also seeped into both of her eyes. But she has forgiven her father for the attack.

‘I can hardly remember anything about the day,' she said. 'But I have forgiven him. I’ve never asked my mother why are we with him? I never get angry.

'In our society people hate the victim more than the culprit. There’s so much pressure in society. My mother was totally dependent on him and she had no option but to return to him.’


In 2014, Neetu started working at Sheroes Café, in Agra, founded by the non-profit organization Stop Acid Attacks. It’s a café for acid attack survivors to come together to work and find independence. She hopes to become a singer one day.

‘I never feel sad or low,’ she said. ‘I never think of myself weaker than anyone else. I never get angry. Everyone goes through ups and downs in life.

'Everyone has to struggle to survive, it’s just that people like me have to struggle a bit more. It was my face and eyes that were attacked not my dreams and courage.’

In May this year, Neetu had surgery on her right eye, with the help of the Stop Acid Attack foundation. But the surgery only improved her eye by three per cent. Her left eye is permanently damaged and cannot be cured.

Geeta is now worried about her daughter’s future: 'I cry every night thinking about my daughter. She is solely dependent on me. I worry what will happen to her when I’m gone.

'She’s a strong girl but her blindness stops her doing things on her own. I hope a miracle happens. My daughter has a beautiful heart and I am so very proud of her.' 

 

Source 

Tags: acid attack India domestic violence

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