These are the devastating injuries inflicted on a young Bangladeshi woman who was allegedly forced to swallow acid because her father could not afford to pay her dowry, Mail Online reports. Ripa Rani Pandit has been left with permanent facial scars and horrific internal injuries after being tortured with the burning liquid as part of an alleged eight-month campaign of abuse.
Her family claim that she was attacked by her in-laws because her parents could not cobble together the dowry which had been agreed prior to her marriage to Ratan Pandit. They say the 23-year-old has been subjected to constant abuse since the pair were married in December. And one point, the treatment was so barbaric that she had to move back to her parents’ home, they claim.
But the most shocking incident took place last month, after her father Shadhon Pandit failed to handover the money that had been promised. Her brother Opu said that her father-in-law dragged her into a room in the house and encouraged his wife to forcibly open Ripa’s mouth. He then poured the liquid down her throat and forced her to gulp it down. After she was attacked, she was allegedly left at their home in Adompur in the Kishoreganj district for two days before eventually being taken to hospital.
She is now being treated at Dhaka Medical Hospital. Doctors say they cannot predict whether she will survive because most of the injuries are internal. She is unable to eat or drink expected to be kept on a saline drip for at least the next two weeks. Today, the Acid Survivors Foundation in Bangladesh, which has been working to eliminate acid violence for almost a decade, formed a human chain in Dhaka to demand those involved in the attack to be arrested and punished.
Speakers at the protest, which included members of Ripa Rani’s family said at least nine people across the country became victims of acid attacks in July. They demanded that the government should enforce laws which stop acid violence.
Since the turn of the century, there have been more than 3,000 attacks in the country. According to the ASF, almost all the attacks have been on women or girls while many of the victims are under 18. The main reason for the violence is dowries, refusal of love proposals, or land disputes. Police have now arrested Rabindra Pandit on suspicion of carrying out the attack.