This state reported the most number of acid attacks in 2018
West Bengal has earned the dubious distinction of being the state with the most number of recorded incidents of acid attacks in 2018, said a report.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, released on Thursday, comes as Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak, a movie about an acid attack survivor, released today.
Fifty acid attacks were reported from Bengal in 2018, while Uttar Pradesh and Odisha recorded 40 and 13, respectively, in the same period.
Bengal also recorded the most number of attempted acid attacks at 12.
In all, 228 acid attacks were reported in the country in 2018. In 2016, the number stood at 223 and rose to 244 in 2017.
Among the metros, however, Kolkata recorded only one acid attack in 2018.
Ahmedabad came first with six cases, while nine incidents were recorded across the state of Gujarat.
Opposition parties and NGOs in Bengal said the actual number of attacks would be more than 50 since many cases are never reported. The NCRB, too, mentioned in the report that it was waiting for certain clarifications from Bengal.
“For a long time, we have been demanding a ban on the sale of acid and strong monitoring by the state. Citizens should also be more proactive and report the sale of acid in markets. The Bengal government, however, has been disbursing the compensation of Rs 0.3 million to victims quite fast in recent times. The Prime Minister’s office gives another Rs 0.1 million,” said Dibyaloke Rai Chaudhuri of Acid Survivors and Women Welfare Foundation, a leading national NGO in this field.
“The number of attacks should be more than 50 because we maintain our own records and our experience says many cases are not reported,” said Rai Chaudhuri. “The Bengal government has plans to start a rehabilitation programme for the victims. As of now, we seek help from corporate houses,” he added.
“We are quite certain that there are more than 50 women who were attacked in the districts of Bengal where law and order is in shambles. The state police do not record all cases. Hence, the Centre never gets the actual figures,” said Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bengal unit general secretary Sayantan Basu.
BJP workers and activists, on the other hand, asked people not to watch Chhapaak as Padukone visited the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus after last Sunday’s violence.
“The BJP has expertise in distorting facts and making up stories. The overall crime records clearly demonstrate that Bengal has a lower crime rate than other states and crime against women is far less here,” said Trinamool Congress leader and minister of state for parliamentary affairs Tapas Roy.