Chargesheet In Acid Attack  

Three weeks after the dastardly attack on a 24-year-old woman, the police have filed a charge sheet against three people including the main accused, a man who made acid available and a juvenile accomplice. Considering the complexities, a special investigation team, constituted for the purpose, has made painstaking effort and it must be acknowledged. The arrest of the accused persons within 12 hours of the crime is praiseworthy, so is filing of the 1000-page chargesheet within three weeks of the crime.

The charge sheet details the role of the accused and criminal conspiracy so hatched to carry out the attack. However, it will all be a nullity if the trial does not culminate in punishment of the culprits. It must be borne in mind that an accused is innocent unless proven otherwise by the court of law. The accused also deserve to be provided fair trial. The ends of justice would meet with speedy trial.

The prevention of such attacks will entail that culprits are awarded the severest punishment so as to be a deterrent in future. There is outrage over the acid attack on the young woman. As per police, the attack on the young woman was carried out by a stalker who wanted to marry her and couldn’t take no for an answer. The heinous act has been right described as worse than murder. It is scarring physically and emotionally for life to the victim.

Many of the survivors suffer from severe mental trauma as they are shunned due to their disfigurement. Jobs are not easy to get as appearances matter to many employers. Even homes on rent are denied to survivors.

The acid attack is an assault on the collective conscience of the society. As put by the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, no words of condemnation will suffice.  The administration should ensure free and effective treatment, including reconstructive surgery, free medicines, rehabilitation and aftercare to the victim  besides rehabilitation.

The attack also showed how imperfect the sale of the acid is in Jammu and Kashmir. Concentrated acid sold is relatively cheap and can be accessed through a variety of informal sector users. Since then administrations has taken measures so as to ensure that sale of the acid is regulated as per the guidelines set forth by the Apex court. There should be continuous watch and any deviation by the concerned must be dealt with sternly.  The police have done it’s bit by filing the charge sheet. In turn the judiciary shall take a lead by serving exemplary punishment to the culprits, of course after proper trial but with a reasonable dispatch.

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