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Div Coms asked to monitor acid attacks, review rehab of survivors

January 6, 2018

Srinagar, Jan 05: The J&K government has made Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu the nodal officers for monitoring and prevention of acid attacks in the state.
In an order passed on January 03, the divisional commissioners have been asked to ensure effective monitoring of acid attacks and measures taken to prevent such attacks on people.
They have also been directed to monitor the treatment and rehabilitation of such survivors.
The appointed Nodal Officers, as per the order, have to collate all the information regarding the acid attacks in the state and place it in Management Information System (MIS) developed the National Commission of Women.
Shockingly, the State Women’s Commission (SWC) has no such data or information on the acid attack cases.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chairperson (SWC) Nayeema Mehjoor said: “I have no information on the number of acid attack victims or such cases.”
She also claimed she did not know about the recent government directive.
To mention, after several cases of acid attacks came to fore in J&K, the Government, in 2015, had passed strict guidelines on sale of acid and other corrosive substances in the state.
As per one of the guidelines, the acid sellers have to ask for the identity proof and the purpose of buying from the buyers.
Also, no acid, as per the guidelines, is supposed to be sold to any person below 18 years of age.
“In case of undeclared stock of acid, it will be open to the concerned SDM to confiscate the stock and suitably impose fine on such seller up to Rs. 50,000,” read the guidelines.
However, a walk to Batamaloo or Shaheed Gunj, Srinagar markets where acid is readily available, reveals that it is sold to anyone with sellers hardly caring about the guidelines.
The guidelines were passed in the backdrop of attacks including one on December 11, 2014 in which a 21-year-old law student was injured after two youth threw acid on her outside her college in Srinagar.
The victim was grievously injured in the attack.
Earlier in January 2013, a 25-year-old teacher was sprinkled with acid by a mechanic who used to stalk her in Baghat-Barzalla area of Srinagar.
After an 11-month trail, the guilty was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment by a court.

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