Every nation aspires to achieve number one position in every sphere. More sadly than surprisingly, India ranks number one in the in the number of acid attacks that happen per year. To add to that, we’ve got even worse conviction rates. It’s depressing to see that the nation doesn’t address one of the most heinous acts of violence in the modern day with the importance that it deserves.
Till 2013, there was no specific data for the number of acid violence cases in the country because it wasn’t seen as a separate crime by our law. The first set of data was made available in 2014 after the amendment in February, 2013 under Indian Penal Code, section 326A and 326B, criminalizing acid violence attacks. 225 cases were reported from all over India then.
The alarming rate at which these crimes are increasing, despite the fact that there are stringent laws in place for it, shows us the poor implementation and hence, the lack of effectiveness of the laws. According to the data provided by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), only 11 cases received conviction out of the 203 that were reported in the first half of 2016 from all over the country.
The damage caused by it is more or less irreversible. The cost for the full recovery of the patient, which includes multiple surgeries and proper medication, goes up to 30 lakhs but the government compensation is 3 lakhs which doesn’t even cover the basics. What’s worse is that the lengthy process makes it even harder on the victims and their families to cope with the trauma.
The reasons for this mostly range between women saying no to sexual advances, proposals for a relationship or marriage, or dowry demands. It should be taken in account that this problem is an amalgamation of socio-cultural and socio-psychological aspects. History is enough proof of the fact that for centuries, women have been subjugated to patriarchy in a nature that justifies violence.
A monstrous crime like this develops not only because of the lack of proper implementation of laws but also because of the backwardness of thinking. It is like any other crime, which involves social facts and has an impact on the psyche of a victim. It’s the mentality needs to be changed more than the present laws.
About the Author:
Swapan Deep Kaur
“An engineer turned sociologist with a knack for criminal psychology who’ll quietly sit in a corner trying to read people. Likely to be found somewhere playing with stray dogs, picking carnations or looking for quiet cafes with decent coffee and books.