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Will online data reduce acid attacks?

Government must frame stringent laws to curb acid attacks and rehabilitate victims says activists.

Acid-Attack-LeadFor preventing the rising incidents of attack attacks on women the government is planning to make acid sales data available online. Even though people come forward to protest against rape incidents but acid attacks doesn’t get the same attention as victims have to face severe hardships for undergoing treatment and seeking compensation. The survivors are often left with disfigured faces and bodies and mounting debts because of the number of operations that are needed to reconstruct their faces. The government had announced to create a web-based application to regulate sale of acid to only authorised individuals.

Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary said each state government has been asked to ensure that acid is sold to a person above 18 years of age, the buyer has a photo identity card and a register is maintained to track the use of acids. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Lok Sabha that the government has also formed nodal groups to monitor sale of acids in each state.

He said that though the government as of now does not have any plans of providing a monthly pension for acid attack victims, it is contemplating enhancing the compensation given to them from the Nirbhaya fund.

The Acid Survivors Foundation India, (ASFI), says it is time for harsher penalties, making acid more difficult to procure and increase awareness and sensitization in the city. The fight against acid attacks needs an aggressive approach. One has to make it more difficult to procure acid. Stringent punishment for the attacker and finally of course, there is rehabilitation and a real effort to reintegrate the victim into mainstream society.

An acid attack survivor informed AV, “The government has taken a right step but how is it possible to track each and every sale of acid? Moreover, whoever is buying acid for wrong doing is procuring it in an illegal manner. How can one trace such buyers and sellers? What about those people who already possess acids for committing acid attacks? The government should introduce stringent punishment for preventing such crimes without delaying justice to the victim.”

Bandra acid victims’ family member told AV said, “Along with acid sale of data, make those culprit’s data public and expose the ways that they possessed acid to attack their target. Unless and until the families of attackers are not shamed publically, this curse is not going to stop. Government has already failed to address the issue.”

Social worker Bhalchandra Dighe said, “The government should think of providing a monthly pension for acid attack victims. Many acid attack victims refused help form authorities and government in the past. There should be provision for rehabilitation of acid attack victims.”

Sonal-Patel-(Doing-Grad)Sonal Patel a student said, “Today acid attackers are not afraid of the law as they run scot free after committing the crime. The government must frame stringent laws and implement it effectively to deter acid attacks.”

Shezad-Manzuri-(BMM-Stud)Shehzad Mansuri, a BMM student said, “The victim has to bear the brunt of acid attack crimes as they have to run from pillar to post for seeking compensation. Often hospital doesn’t treat the victims on a priority basis as injustice is meted against them.”

Arpita-Panchal-(Student)Arpita Panchal, a student said, “Our society needs to be sensitive against victims of acid attacks as they have to fight a lone battle for justice. The snail paced justice delivery system too is responsible for rising acid attack cases as people are not afraid of law.”

Shivali-Gupta-(Eng-Student)Shivali Gupta a student said, “Online data will not help in preventing rising cases of acid attacks. There are also very weak controls when it comes to procuring the acid.”

Though no official statistics are available about the number of such cases, an estimated 400 cases of acid attacks are registered every month across the country. According to a report of the Law Commission, acid throwing is an extremely violent crime by which the perpetrator of the crime seeks to inflict severe physical and mental suffering on his victim.

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