The Palakkad Judicial First Class Magistrate Court (I) on Monday sentenced Ramaswamy Gounder of Kadakupallam, Kanjikode, near Palakkad town, to imprisonment till the rising of the court for the day and a compensation of Rs.50,000 for negligence in storing acid that left Alphonsa, now 11 years old, with severe burns.

But the verdict of Judge K. Noushad Ali is no solace to Alphonsa and her family who are struggling to meet her treatment expenses.

Alphonsa’s life turned upside down when a can of acid stored illegally in a shed for a rubber treatment plant by her neighbour Ramaswamy Gounder fell on her while she was playing near her house with her brother and friends. She was then only a year-and-a-half. The burns left her disfigured and her left eye was seriously damaged. She still suffers from severe pain.

Her brother, Arogyaswamy, then five years old, suffered minor injuries.

The Walayar police registered the case and investigated it.

When the can fell on Alphonsa and Arogyaswamy, little did they know the difficulties they would encounter.

No school in the locality was prepared to admit Alphonsa who carried the scars of the incident. She was forced to get admission in a school with hostel facility in Palakkad town far away from her village. Her treatment continues. Duraiswamy, her father, who works as a labourer has already spent Rs.2 lakh on her treatment. Another Rs.3 lakh is now required.

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