DCW sting: Acid easily available at city shops, Maliwal questions LG
In its secret inspections to check the ground reality of ‘ban on acid sale’ in the city, teams of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) approached 31 shops in two days and easily bought acid from 23 such shops. In some cases the shopkeepers even urged the teams of the commission to purchase even a carat of acid bottles which were strong enough to destroy anything.
On the basis of the ground report, DCW has sent a report to LG asking him to ensure enforcement on open retail sale of acid in the city. DCW has also decided to hold a meeting with Delhi Police and District Magistrates to work towards ensuring compliance to orders of the Supreme Court regarding regulation of acid sale.
“LG should tell us, who will be punished for allowing sale of acid in Delhi? Will only the people like us be punished for doing good work?” asked Swati Maliwal, DCW Chairperson in an apparent attack on LG. She also indicated her team of being harassed by ACB and LG Office for doing hard work.
“Please take action against officers responsible for open sale of acid. If another attack happens who will be responsible?” she added. Although open sale of acid is categorically banned by Supreme Court, acid continues to be sold in shops all over Delhi.
“Shop is Khari Baoli market told our staff that the strong nature of his acid can destroy anything
and convinced him to buy a crate of it,” she added, highlighting the pathetic situation of law and order in the city.
Unregulated acid sale is a major cause for continued acid attacks on women in India. According to NCRB data from 2014; Delhi, with 20 incidences of acid attacks, figures as the third highest state after West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
In the past few months, Delhi has witnessed several incidents of acid attacks. The DCW is very concerned regarding the prevalence of this heinous crime. In order to assess the compliance of the order of the Supreme Court in Delhi, DCW through its newly launched ‘Acid Watch and Rehabilitation’ programme carried out an investigation and went to different areas of Delhi to attempt to purchase acid from shops.
Maliwal also informed that the teams of the commission were able to procure acid without any difficulty from all the 11 districts of Delhi from shops in Seelampur, Khari Baoli, Daryaganj, Jangpura Extension, Rajouri Garden and several other markets across Delhi.
“Six staff members of the Commission in a period of two days visited 30 shops across Delhi and were able to procure acid from 23 shops. Out of these, only one sought identification proof of the buyer,” said Maliwal. The retail cost of acid ranged between Rs 15 per litre to Rs 70 per litre but most of the shops were selling it between Rs 30 to Rs 40 per litre.