Activists point at violation of SC order, say police should crack down on shops
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The recent acid attack on a 54-year-old social worker from Kalbadevi which led to her death has again brought to the fore the availability of the chemical in the market, even 10 years after the Supreme Court’s directive to regulate and monitor sale of the substance.
mid-day had in March 2022 reported how acid was being sold openly in shops across the city and that there was no check on buyers to confirm the purpose or use.
Neeta Tripathi, chairperson of Aasra Foundation, said, “We have been protesting for decades but the acid is being openly sold in the market. People justify it by saying that the acid is used in cleaning bathrooms. But the point of concern is that its misuse cannot be ruled out. Anybody can get acid to assault others, and it is generally women who face this kind of attack.”
“The government must put a blanket ban on acid. Government representatives tell us that they are working to ban its sale, but nothing has happened so far. There are many survivors who have lost confidence after the attack which not only leaves scars on the body but leads to irreparable damage to their mental health,” she added.
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Criminal lawyer Trivankumar Karnani said, “Illegal and unauthorised sale of acid is a matter of grave concern. It is in absolute violation of the Supreme Court’s 2013 judgment on sale of unregulated acid in the country.”
“The police have to conduct a crackdown on illegal sale and purchase of acid, and the police commissioner must issue a guideline to authorised establishments to maintain a register to share weekly copies of the register with the local police station to curb incidents of acid attack,” added Karnani.