Outrage over acid attack on teen girl (video)

NEW DELHI, 14 Dec 2022:

Two men threw acid on the face of a 17-year-old girl yesterday in New Delhi, causing serious injuries – and sparking outrage across the city, with activists calling for stricter controls on the sale of these chemical substances.

The two attackers were on a motorcycle and the incident occurred in Dwarka area in the western part of the Indian capital, according to a statement by the government’s Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).

“The Commission has been informed that the girl was going to her school when two bike riders threw acid over her. The girl is presently admitted in hospital in a serious condition.”

DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal tweeted it was “really painful to see her condition,” and that she was informed by the victim’s family of acid being sold openly in the area.

A CCTV footage of the incident shared by the DCW chief showed the bikers throwing acid on the victim in the middle of a busy street and speeding off.

The unregulated sale of acid has been banned in the south Asian country since 2013, due to the pressure activists over its use in such attacks. However, the chemical remains quite accessible on the street, according to DCW.

Following a Supreme Court ruling that toughened penalties and imposed restrictions on the use of acid, the country began keeping track on the number of acid attacks from 2013.

That year, 309 such complaints were registered, while in 2021 the number was 176 – 102 of them specifically against women -, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

According to the Chhanv Foundation, a non-profit working for the rehabilitation of acid attack survivors, whenever a man throws acid on a young woman – usually someone familiar – his goal is not to kill her but to destroy her life forever due to the scars left behind on the body.