Three teenage girls from Bankura district in West Bengal were attacked with acid by three men driving a bolero car on a late Sunday evening. The girls were returning home from their tuition as they were made to forcefully sit in the car and thrown acid at as they were waiting near a bus stand.
So far, three persons have been arrested in the case, and the car that has been confiscated by the police. The three people include a driver and two other persons, Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said to to ANI. The cause of the attack is yet to be disclosed and the girls have been admitted to a hospital to recover from their burns and injuries.
This disturbing incident comes just a few days after the Mumbai High Court passed death sentence to an acid attacker who murdered a nurse by throwing acid on her at Bandra Terminus on 2013, the reason for his attack being that the nurse refused to marry him. The judgement was lauded by the public extensively.
Acid attacks have been dominating the conversations when talking about violence against women. In the last three four years specially, the number of cases reported have shot up to 300%. The years 2011, 2012 and 2013 saw 83, 85 and 66 reported cases in the category but 2014 witnessed a staggering increase to 309 cases. Uttar Pradesh is one state that has been consistently infamous for acid attack incidents. In 2014, when the reports went up by 300% 185 cases were from U.P. alone. Further, the fact is that attack cases are heavily under-reported in India just like other cases of violence against women.
Laxmi Aggarwal, an acid attack survivor, who was attack when she was 15 years old, fought to get the Supreme Court to pass the bill to ban acid sale in grocery stores. She filed a petition which was signed by 27,000 people. In 2013, the Supreme Court passed an order wherein licensed sellers would have to keep a record of the acid sales, and sell it only to customers who showed valid government ID proof. Further, the directives were that no one under the age of 18 would be able to buy acid.
Recently, Aggarwal told SheThePeople.TV that they started a campaign ‘Shoot Acid’ wherein they went around asking for acid in small shops in Kanpur city of U.P. And they were left aghast to see how easily it is being sold and bought on a daily basis. Apart from this, many NGOs and activists are also working actively to help victims get justice like Make Love Not Scars, Stop Acid Attacks, Chaanv Foundation and Sheroes Hangout.
In spite of Court directives and harsh judgements, the number of attacks seem don’t seem to be reducing. Jilted lovers, family disputes or any other reason is not enough to scar somebody’s body and soul for life.
feature Image Credit: islamichelp.or.uk