Six days after a 22-year-old woman was attacked with acid and thrown out of a car by her brothers in Greater Noida, the National Commission of Women (NCW) today cited the incident to push for stricter enforcement of the ban on indiscriminate sale of the corrosive chemical in Uttar Pradesh.
The NCW, in its letter to Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh, cited media reports of the incident to highlight the dangers of allowing over-the-counter acid sale to continue unabated. "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," it read.
According to Dadri police, the two men had taken their sister for a drive from their village to Noida on May 9. Halfway there, they allegedly splashed acid on her face and pushed her out of the car. A passerby later found the woman lying unconscious by the roadside with her face disfigured beyond recognition.
The woman, who has been admitted to Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital in a critical condition, identified her brothers as the assailants. Although the motive behind the incident was yet to be ascertained, a case has been registered under sections 326 (punishment for thowing acid) and 307 (attempted murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
Acid attacks are a disturbingly common crime in Uttar Pradesh. On April 16, a final-year student was attacked with acid by two men on a motorcycle in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district. Earlier that month, a 20-year-old woman constable was attacked in a similar manner by four men while she was trying to hail an auto rickshaw in Mathura. According to police, she had spurned a marriage proposal from one of the accused.
India registers the highest incidence of acid attacks in the world, with the number of such cases rising from 83 in 2011 to 349 in 2015. According to a National Crime Records Bureau report released late last year, Uttar Pradesh accounted for 57 of the 283 acid attack cases reported across the country in 2016. Although the Supreme Court had banned over-the-counter sale of acid across the country in 2013, state authorities have found the directive difficult to enforce.
(With inputs from Agencies)