A 33-year-old man was convicted and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for attempt to murder, after he repeatedly slashed a 19-yearold woman in 2015 when she resisted his bid to steal her cell phone. The gritty victim, who made a valiant effort to defend herself from the accused, Bacchu Ali, identified him in court.

The tendons and nerves of both hands of Pooja Das, who lived in Vile Parle, were severed in the attack that occurred in front of Mithibai College. She told the court that initially no one came forward to help her despite her screams. Describing the gruesome manner in which she was attacked on a March morning in 2015, Das said, “I was continuously shouting and screaming. Many people were there but nobody came to rescue me as he was holding a knife and assaulting me repeatedly. Some people threw stones at that person. The accused then ran away. “The accused, she said, was unknown to her. Ali was employed as a cook in a hotel and was nabbed by a Juhu police team patrolling near the spot.

Das was among the 15 witnesses examined in the court. She told the court that she was the youngest of three siblings. While her brother worked in Dubai, her sister was married and lived in Australia. She said she was in the first year of her BCom at the time of the incident and also worked at a call centre. On March 15, 2015, when she was on her way to work at 8am, she said a man tried to snatch her phone from her hand. “I turned back and asked him what he was doing. He did not say anything and went back. I started walking ahead and kept the phone in my bag, “she told the court. “Suddenly, he came from behind and started shouting, holding a knife. He was going to give a blow on my neck, so I started shouting for help, “she recalled.

She stated that she tried to restrain the accused by raising her arms in defence. “He directly hit me on both my hands. I did not get a chance to run away. My hands got severe cuts and were bleeding. He repeatedly made blows with the knife on my hands. I also got a blow on the right side of my forehead, “she said. Das said after Ali ran away, she fell unconscious and later woke up in Cooper Hospital. Her parents were away visiting relatives in Kolkata and immediately flew back on being informed of the incident.

Describing the extent of her injuries, Das said after being shifted to a private hospital on the same day, she underwent a surgery on her left hand and a plate was inserted in her right hand. She further said she spent almost three weeks in hospital and at the time of her deposition in February 2016, she was unable to use both hands effectively. She submitted that a couple of months after the incident, she was taken to jail where she identified the accused from among others in a line-up.