Dr Mahalakshmi lost her ear and eyesight in the left eye when her landlord threw acid on her face. She had refused to withdraw the complaint she lodged against him for harassment. Chikkabasavaiah threw acid on her face at 8 pm on January 11, 2001, when she was returning from her clinic.
She had met him when she took a space for rent to run her private clinic in Mysuru. “He used to visit my clinic at odd hours and verbally harass me. I was worried about my safety and hence I decided to move to a safer location near my parents’ place,” she says.
Chikkabasavaiah allegedly did not even pay back her deposit amount and continued harassing her, prompting her to file a case. “He threatened me to take back my complaint on January 9 and I reported him for that. But I never thought that he would do this to me,” she says.
“When he threw acid on my face, I felt like my skin was on fire. I tried to wash it with water, but the tap had gone dry. I fell on the road and none of the passers-by in the crowded street stopped to help me. A 10-year-old boy, whom I had treated earlier, finally came to my rescue,” she recalls.
When she filed a case against him, he easily came out on bail, after which she went to the High Court. “He was jailed for a mere three years. I underwent 25-30 reconstruction surgeries,” she says.