Surveillance Task Force to regulate sale of acid in Srinagar

Srinagar, Jan 7: Surveillance Task Force head and Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Syed Hanief Balkhi on Monday directed officials to seal premises and book individuals who are found selling or storing acid in violation of guidelines.

Balkhi issue the directions while chairing first meeting of Surveillance Task Force set up by district administration to regulate the sale of acid in district.

After the recent horrifying acid attack on a Srinagar girl, the district administration set up a Surveillance Task Force to regulate the sale of acid on February 3, this year.

The team headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Syed HaniefBalkhi has members from police, enforcement, Metrology department and Labour Commission, held its meeting on Monday.

Balkh directed the task force to implement guidelines issued by Supreme Court in case of Laxmi versus Union of India and take strict action under law against persons found violating the guidelines.

Balkhi told Greater Kashmir that the team has been directed to make surprise checks throughout Srinagar district. “Anyone found violating the guidelines will be dealt with strictly under law,” he said.

“In 2013 the Supreme Court in the case of Laxmi versus Union of India directed the State governments and the Union territories to make appropriate rules for the sale of acid in states and Union Territories respectively,” he said.

He added that it also directed the states to implement stringent norms for retail sale of acid, treating it as a poison under the Poisons Act, 1919.

“Banning the sale of acid to minors the Court said the corrosive substance can be sold to only those who have valid identity cards issued by the government and that too after specifying the purpose for the purchase in writing,” he said.

Balkhi said that shopkeepers in Srinagar must adhere to all guidelines, maintain records of sale and storage, details of buyer after keeping the copy of his identity card also.

He added that authorities will implement the directions of law and take further action to avoid any acid attack incident.

“I would like to appeal all our sisters and daughters that they must speak to their respective parents, or nearest Police Station in case somebody threatens them of acid attack or they have reasonable apprehension of such attack by any suspect. We all are here to help them,” he said.

In December 2013 the Supreme Court directed all the States to formulate specific guidelines regarding sale of acid and also for payment of compensation and providing free medical treatment for survivors of acid attacks and notify the same before April, 2014.

The bench also asked the respective states to ensure that every police station, immediately after registering an FIR about an acid attack should intimate the concerned SDM, who would in turn inquire how the acid was procured by the assailant.

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