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Bengaluru boys mistake cyanide for water; deaths call for stricter norms for sale of chemicals

With the city police claiming that a cyanide compound was responsible for the deaths of the two boys jewellers in the city have called for more stringent measures to check the easy availability.

Published: 29th September 2017 04:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2017 11:06 AM   |  A+A-

People stand outside Shankar’s residence on Killari Road | PUSHKAR V

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: With the city police claiming that a cyanide compound was responsible for the deaths of the two boys on Thursday, jewellers in the city have called for more stringent measures to check the easy availability of chemicals used for treating rare metals. Normally, jewellers use chemicals like cyanide and a few other types of acids. These are mixed with particular varieties of dried seeds and used on jewellery to enhance the glitter.

“You can see boards everywhere on roadsides offering to clean jewellery. This substance is used for cleaning both gold and silver articles. It dissolves the surface metal without affecting the jewellery design and shape. Many such shops have come up across the city. A few of them have set up their businesses in their houses,” said Janardhanachari, a traditional jeweller.

“People who use such chemicals should get a licence for the purchase. But what is shocking is that these chemicals are sold openly in places like Balepet and Chickpet,” he added.

T A Saravana, president of the Karnataka State Jewellers Association, while expressing shock over the deaths of the two children, said people dealing with such harmful chemicals should be cautious and ensure that they are kept out of reach of children. “ If you have a licenced weapon, you should be careful enough to keep it away from children.

Likewise with chemicals,” he said. He said he will write to the Chief Minister and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to crack down on illegal units which sell and use such harmful substances.

While some jewellers were skeptical on whether it was a cyanide compound which killed the children or some other acid used in cleaning jewellery, they were quick to add that acid burns the internal organs and death is painful while death due to cyanide consumption is more swifter.

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