Delhi acid attack: Chemical traders call for effective way to monitor those buying acid
The traders said chemical trade in Delhi has taken a hit due to acid attack incidents. While all necessary measures are in place to regulate the sale of acid, an effective way to monitor is needed.
Published: 15th December 2022 10:39 AM | Last Updated: 15th December 2022 11:17 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: In the wake of a schoolgirl being attacked with acid in Delhi, chemical traders have called on the authorities for an effective way to monitor those buying it, claiming that all necessary measures are in place to check the sale of acid.
Over-the-counter sale of acid no longer takes place in Delhi. Chemicals like sulphuric acid and nitric acid are available for industrial purposes but licenses are required for their sale and purchase, the traders claimed.
On Wednesday, two masked men on a motorcycle threw acid on a Class 12 student minutes after she left her west Delhi home for school on Wednesday morning, leaving her seriously injured.
The accused probably threw nitric acid on the victim which was ordered through an e-commerce portal. However, the type of acid used in the crime will be confirmed after a forensic examination, police said. Three people, including the prime accused, have been arrested, they said.
"Acid is not available for retail sale these days as branded toilet cleaners are available in the market. Hazardous chemicals like sulphuric acid and nitric acid are sold and purchased for industrial purposes and licenses are needed for them," said a chemical trader who did not wish to be named.
The traders said chemical trade in Delhi has taken a hit due to acid attack incidents. While all necessary measures are in place to regulate the sale of acid, an effective way to monitor those buying it is needed, they said.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal, however, differs.
"DCW has issued several notices, given several recommendations, but acid sale continues. Just like vegetables are sold, anybody can buy acid and throw it on a girl. Why are governments sleeping over it? When a girl is attacked with acid, her soul is scarred and her life is ruined," she said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a district magistrate said it is the responsibility of district authorities to regulate the sale of acid.
"We have a list of all the authorised acid sellers who provide us with regular sale reports," he said.
Sub-divisional magistrates (SDM) monitor the sale of acid at the sub-divisional level, he added.
An official of the Department of Environment said central government rules specify the quantity of chemicals to be stored and used for various industrial processes.
"But the primary responsibility of regulating and monitoring the sale and storage of chemicals lies with the district magistrates," he said.
In October this year, the DCW had issued a notice to the divisional commissioner of the Delhi government seeking action against those SDMs not enforcing rules to regulate the sale of acid.
The panel had claimed that regular inspections were not being conducted in most of the 11 districts in the national capital. It had also claimed that hardly any penalties were being imposed in districts against unregulated sale of acid.