There is a sudden surge of acid attacks on women in the state that the police feels helpless to stop. On Friday afternoon, a middle-aged man threw acid on two children and their mother near crowded Birati station in North 24 Parganas district.
All the three victims were taken to North Dum Dum Municipality hospital for treatment. Locals caught hold of the miscreant and beat him up. He was handed over to the officers of Nimta police station.
Acid attacks are gradually becoming a menace in West Bengal. Recently, a 28-year-old deaf and mute woman, a resident of a village in Nadia district died of severe burns when acid was hurled at her while she was sleeping. She was also raped in July.
A widow, who was also attacked with acid, died of burn injuries at M R Bangur Hospital this month. On July 25, 2016 night she woke up from sleep after hearing knocks on the door of her home in Tarakeshwar of Hooghly and stepped out.
A man called Noor Ali hurled acid at her and fled. Her son, who was near her, also suffered burn injuries.
The woman was rushed to Tarakeshwar Grameen Hospital and from there she was taken to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital and later shifted to M R Bangur Hospital where she died. Her family alleged that Noor was angry after she spurned his indecent proposal. Noor was later arrested by the police.
In July 2013 the supreme court prohibited selling acid without licence and made it mandatory for retailers to maintain a record of buyers. Buyers are supposed to produce identification and address proofs and should be above the age of 18. Moreover, dealers are also supposed to submit details of sale to the local police within three days of the transaction. But it is obvious such rulings have not been able to curb acid attacks.
A few years ago Bangladesh introduced death penalty to contain rising acid attacks.
In 2015 there were a number of acid attacks across the state with instances of a person entering a hospital and throwing acid on a woman.
In another recent incident in Burdwan district’s Kalna, another woman was attacked with acid by four youths after she declined their indecent proposals. On the night of August 3, when the 32-year-old homemaker was sleeping with her mother-in-law, the youths hurled acid on her through the window. The chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women Sunanda Mukherjee strongly condemned the incidents.
In both 2014 and 2015 there were a string of acid attack incidents in the state. There was even an incident when a woman was attacked in Panskura (East Midnapore district) after she refused to get married to her elder sister’s brother-in-law. It happened on July 3, 2014.
On June 18 2014, a woman, a resident of Nadia’s Ranaghat, sustained burn injuries on her face when a man, Ripon Das, threw acid at her while she was waiting at Chittaranjan railway station.
On 19 June 2014 a jilted lover threw acid on a girl’s face and fled after boarding a train at Chittaranjan railway station in Burdwan district near the state’s border with Jharkhand.