The Tamil Nadu wing of the Lok Satta party conducted a rally on the Marina beach on Sunday morning, demanding measures to prevent acid attacks on women.
The demands come weeks after the deaths of two young women, who were victims of acid attacks, and the promise by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to enact a legislation to address the issue.
The party raised a set of 14-point demand, which it wanted to be addressed in the draft legislation that the Chief Minister had promised to table in the upcoming Budget Session of the Assembly.
The demand raised by the Lok Satta party was not just regulating the sale of the acid used in such attacks, but also the treatment and rehabilitation of the victim and the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.
Reflecting the Chief Minister’s promise to bring strong regulations on the sale and distribution of acid, the Lok Satta party asked for a mechanism to make the purchase of acids regulated and for the institution of industry-supported protocols to promote responsible behaviour and safe handling, storage, labelling, stock maintenance, transfer and disposal of acids by both businesses and individual end-users.
A number of demands were centred on the treatment, rehabilitation and mitigation of acid attack victims.
Among them were awareness at hospitals and health centres on procedures to treat such cases, instruction to private hospitals not to deny first-aid, upgradation of expertise and infrastructure required to treat victims and counsellors to help the victims successfully reintegrate with society.
The party also urged the Chief Minister for free treatment for acid attack victims and to take steps for economic rehabilitation through sustainable employment opportunities.
It also called for the strictest possible punishment for those committing such crimes, including rigorous imprisonment even in cases of failed acid attacks.
Other demands on the penal front were financial obligation on the perpetrator to support the victim and the serious placement of the onus of disproving the intention to commit the crime in defence.
It also sought special police teams to prevent such attacks and to set up a specialised judicial mechanism to dispose of such cases.