A Heinous Offense

For the acid attack survivor, life means an unending grief
Female protestors during a protest on Wednesday, demanding capital punishment for the assailant who threw acid on a girl in Srinagar's old city on Tuesday.
Female protestors during a protest on Wednesday, demanding capital punishment for the assailant who threw acid on a girl in Srinagar's old city on Tuesday. Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

After the Supreme Court directives to regulate the sale of harmful substances like acid, the government declared acid attacks a cognizable offense under Section 326 (A) of the Indian Penal Code with punishment up to 10 years”.

The Acid attack is a heinous form of crime that makes the life of the victim physically, socially, and emotionally miserable. The recent acid attack on a 24-year-old girl in Srinagar left a deep scar on our society - the society which is known as the abode of sages and seers.

Whatever the reasons the assailant give for this inhuman act. The fact of the matter is that he not only ruined someone’s life but also shattered the dreams of a family who nurtured her life.

If she will survive, imagine what will be her first reaction, when she will stand in front of a mirror with a disfigured face, that otherwise always reflected her beautiful face.

No doubt the medical science has progressed to a great extent and she may go for plastic surgery. Will that artificial treatment regain her face? Will that treatment make her forget the horrible experience? Will the family come out from this shock?

For the acid attack survivor, life means a series of trials and unending grief. The post-traumatic disorder is the most crucial phase. During this stage, the affected person may feel severe fear of the culprit and event.

After the psychological effect, many social implications also exist for the victims. These attacks render them dependent on their spouse or family for everyday activities, such as eating and running errands.

Due to impaired visions and physical handicap, many acid attack survivors are not able to get work.

This negatively impacts their economic viability, causing hardships on the families that care for them. This particular episode is a warning to our society to stand united against it.

What may be our class, creed, or faith, It is high time for our religious and rational authorities to reflect upon this phenomenon that has impaired the rights and health of women.

A decent and knowledgeable society can’t tolerate such incidents things. It is our moral obligation that we impart moral education to our youth and also warn them about the serious consequence of such heinous acts as per the laid down constitution.

There was no such separate provision in the Indian Penal Code till 2013 to charge sheet those accused of acid attacks, nor were there rules restricting the sale and purchase of acid.

But after the Supreme Court directives to regulate the sale of harmful substances like acid, the government declared acid attacks a cognizable offense under Section 326 (A) of the Indian Penal Code with punishment up to 10 years.

The Supreme Court ordered guidelines that must be followed strictly to curb such kinds of crimes.

Overview of the guidelines

• Acid should be sold only to people who show a valid identity card.

• Buyers will also have to explain why they need the chemical and sales will have to be reported to the police.

• Compensation for victim.

Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher by profession.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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