EVEN AS the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data put Delhi on the third spot in the list of cities that are witnessing the maximum number of acid attacks, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Thursday said there is a free flow of acid in the capital despite a 2013 Supreme Court order regulating its sale.
“Six staff members of the Commission, within a period of two days, visited 30 shops across Delhi and were able to procure acid from 23 of them. Out of these 23 shops, only one sought the buyer’s identification proof. In fact, in Khari Baoli market, a shopkeeper convinced our staff to buy an entire crate of ‘very strong acid’. Moreover, acid is available at a very cheap cost across the city,” the Commission said in its statement.
Referring to the NCRB data from 2014 which stated that 20 incidents of acid attacks had taken place in Delhi, the “third highest” number after West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, the DCW, in its statement, further claimed, “In the past few months, Delhi has witnessed several incidents of acid attacks. The DCW is concerned regarding the prevalence of this heinous crime. Although open sale of acid is categorically banned by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, acid continues to be sold in shops all over Delhi.”
Urging the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to take action on the issue, DCW chief Swati Maliwal tweeted, “LG sahib — Pl tell action to be taken against officers responsible for open sale of acid. If another attack happens, who will be responsible?”
“LG — Pl ban sale of acid in Delhi. Ensure strict action against people buying and selling acid in Capital. Ensure compliance of SC orders,” she added. The Commission stated that it will send its report to the L-G for immediate ban on the retail sale of acid and take strict action against those who sell and procure acid in Delhi. “We plan on holding a meeting with Delhi Police and District Magistrates to work towards ensuring compliance with orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the statement further read.