'Mummy help!' cried out the boy forced to drink acid in Delhi

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Seated in a chair on the seventh floor of a city hospital, with one end of her blue saree over her head, Mamta Devi, 40, recalled just two words: "Mummy, help!"

It were these two words that came out as her son shrieked even as acid was forced down his throat by a group of people. 

A floor above, 17-year-old Yogesh Sagar lay on a bed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital, but he hasn't uttered a word since he cried out for help. 

Sagar was forced to drink acid by some people late on Tuesday night, a day after a scuffle over paneer (cottage cheese) in Sangam Vihar area of south Delhi. 

On Monday night, two people had came to the dairy run by Sagar's family and asked for paneer. A scuffle broke out after Sagar said that paneer was out of stock. 

The two had left then, threatening to come back later. 

Mamta Devi said that at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Sagar was closing the shop and the rest of the family were at the house, a floor above, when she heard the cry - "Mummy, help!" 

It was her son's voice.

Mamata Devi, Sagar's father Babulal and sister Garima rushed downstairs only to find Sagar lying on the ground in the unlit street -- a white smoke rose around him and the assailants were fleeing in the distance. 

"There were fumes all over the place and they rose as high as our house on the first floor," Sagar's 16-year-old sister Garima said. "My brother's lips and face were all white."

A bottle of acid lay next to him and Sagar was writhing on the ground with his hands squeezing his head. 

The 17-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital in an auto-rikshaw, but the hospital refused to admit him and he was referred to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). 

In the meantime, Sagar kept vomitting blood in the auto-rickshaw and later in a police van, which came late, according to the family.

"There were pieces of flesh in the vomit -- this big," Devi said forming a small gap between her forefinger and thumb. 

Babulal, 43, walking barefoot down the hospital corridor said he visited Sagar in the ICU an hour ago and doctors would soon call to let them know about his condition. 

He said his son had not yet started talking, but he has explained what happened on Tuesday night through gestures. 

"Holding out his fingers, he (Sagar) showed me that nine persons ganged up on him. Then he held his forefingers on both sides of his forehead," Babulal said. 

"I asked him 'knife'? He shook his head. Then I asked him 'gun'? To which he nodded," Babulal said. 

He said that two men held Sagar at gun-point while another held a plastic bottle containing the acid against his mouth.

Babulal cupped his hands leaving a gap in-between and squeezed them together to show how one of the assailants held the acid bottle in his hand and forced it down Sagar's throat.

Tired of waiting to hear from the doctors, Babulal and some of the family members sat down on the hospital floor to have their food.

But Devi didn't. 

"Right now we only want our son to be normal and nothing else," Devi said. "Please ask the doctors what's happening to him," the mother said in a broken voice.