Kolkata : There is a sudden surge of acid attacks on women in the state that the police feels helpless to stop. Such attacks are common in societies where there is a high level of gender inequality and women occupy a subordinate position in relation to men. This time the incident happened in East Midnapur, Moyna. On Thursday evening, when the victim was in the market, some men came and threw acid on the lady, named Lalita Barman, 42 years old.
The victim was taken to Moyna Block Hospital and then transferred to Tamluk district Hospital for treatment. Locals said that some
Acid attacks are gradually becoming a menace in West Bengal. Earlier, a 28-year-old deaf and mute woman, a resident of a village in Nadia district died of severe burns when acid was hurled at her while she was sleeping. She was also raped in July.
A few years ago Bangladesh introduced death penalty to contain rising acid attacks.
In 2015 there were a number of acid attacks across the state with instances of a person entering a hospital and throwing acid on a woman.
In another recent incident in Burdwan district’s Kalna, another woman was attacked with acid by four youths after she declined their indecent proposals. On the night of August 3, when the 32-year-old homemaker was sleeping with her mother-in-law, the youths hurled acid on her through the window. The chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women Sunanda Mukherjee strongly condemned the incidents. “ Police will do full co-operation. Hope the accused will be arrested soon.’’
In both 2014 and 2015 there were a string of acid attack incidents in the state. There was even an incident when a woman was attacked in Panskura (East Midnapore district) after she refused to get married to her elder sister’s brother-in-law. It happened on July 3, 2014.On June 18 2014, a woman, a resident of Nadia’s Ranaghat, sustained burn injuries on her face when a man, Ripon Das, threw acid at her while she was waiting at Chittaranjan railway station.On 19 June 2014 a jilted lover threw acid on a girl’s face and fled after boarding a train at Chittaranjan railway station in Burdwan district near the state’s border with Jharkhand.
In July 2013 the supreme court prohibited selling acid without license and made it mandatory for retailers to maintain a record of buyers. Buyers are supposed to produce identification and address proofs and should be above the age of 18. Moreover, dealers are also supposed to submit details of sale to the local police within three days of the transaction. But it is obvious such rulings have not been able to curb acid attacks.