Acid sold freely in Odisha despite restrictions

Bhubaneswar: Even though the Home Ministry has formulated stringent rules on sale of acid following the Supreme Court directive in 2013, petty hardware stores in the State are selling acid openly. A reality check by OTV showed blatant violation of the rules pertaining to sale of acid in the State.

As per the guidelines laid down, acid cannot be sold to anyone without an identity proof while the purpose of purchase should be explicitly mentioned. However, notwithstanding such strict rules, anyone can get a bottle of acid at Rs 20 per litre from small stores in Bhubaneswar.

“In 2013 the SC imposed restrictions on acid sale. But, the law has not been implemented in the State yet. Acid is available easily at shops and acid attacks are continuing,” said Amiyabala Parida, a social activist.

Sources said as many as 59 acid attack cases have been reported in the last 10 years in State.

Acid attack victim, Manini Bisoyi of Gangapur in Ganjam district said “Without being at fault, I have been paying a very steep price.”

Meanwhile, a group of social activists met Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities minister, Prafulla Samal and submitted a memorandum demanding restrictions on sale of acid.

Social activist, Saroj Das said incidents of acid attack are being reported frequently. “If the sale of acid is restricted, the crime can be stopped.” he added.

The minister meanwhile has assured that the government will look into the matter and action will be taken against attackers. “We will also ensure restrictions on acid sale are followed,” he added.