"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."
Days after brothers of a 22-year-old woman attacked her with acid and threw her out of the car, the National Commission of Women (NCW) has pushed for stricter enforcement of the ban on selling the corrosive chemical in Uttar Pradesh.
Citing this incident, the NCW said in its statement to Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh, “The Commission is disturbed by the rise in acid attacks in Uttar Pradesh. Considering the gravity of the matter, it is requested that action be taken to enforce the ban on acid sale in the state. A report may be sent to us at the earliest.”
Dadri police said that the two men had taken their sister, who belongs to Gulawati village in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh, on a drive to Noida on May 9. They allegedly threw acid on her face, and pushed her out of the car.
The woman has been admitted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital and is in a critical condition. She has identified her brothers as the perpetrators, but the motive behind the attack is yet to be ascertained. However, a case has been registered against the accused under sections 326 (punishment for throwing acid) and 307 (attempted murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
The highest number of acid attack incidents in the world is registered in India. The number of such cases has risen from 83 in 2011 to 349 in 2015. A National Crime Records Bureau report released in 2018 revealed that in 2016, Uttar Pradesh accounted for 57 of the 283 acid attack cases reported across India, reported NDTV.
Acid attacks are disturbingly common in Uttar Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district on April 16, two men on a motorcycle attacked a final-year-student with acid. Earlier in April, four men attacked a 20-year-old woman constable in Mathura, for allegedly refusing a marriage proposal from one of the accused. Despite the Supreme Court banning over-the-counter sale of acid across India in 2013, state authorities have found it difficult to enforce the directive.
Easy availability of acids is a major reason behind the growing number of acid attacks in the country. In various places across India, one can still buy a bottle of acid without much difficulty, despite the Supreme Court ordering all states and Union Territories to outlaw the over-the-counter sale of acid.
Anybody can acquire a bottle of potent liquid in Chopla market in Uttar Pradesh. A reporter from The Hindustan Times went to buy a toilet cleaner from a shop in this area, but he instead produced a bottle of suspicious looking acid, saying, “No conventional toilet cleaner can rid your bathroom floor of stubborn stains. Acid can clean anything!”
The Supreme Court in 2013 directed governments to issue acid-sale licences to select retailers. Outlets that are authorised to sell acid were directed to ask buyers for a photo identity card and address proof so that they can be traced in case there is any inappropriate incident. It banned Minors from buying acid, and within three days, details of the sale were supposed to be provided to a local police station.
Today, however, these rules are hardly followed. While some states, like Haryana, have fared better in compared to others in imposing the rules, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police claim that they find it difficult to monitor every shop under their ambit.
The Logical Indian urges authorities to ensure much stricter enforcement of these laws.
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