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Chief Secretary orders special drive to check illegal sale of acid in Delhi

By Anuj Cariappa
|

New Delhi, Sep 04: A special meeting was held on Aug 22 under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Shri Vijay Dev to discuss various issues regarding acid attacks in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by Chairperson DCW Swati Maliwal, Secretaries of several departments, representatives of Delhi Police and DSLSA.

In the meeting, the Chief Secretary expressed concern over the incidents of acid attacks and directed all Departments to work towards checking the sale of acid and rehabilitating acid attack survivors.

Chief Secretary orders special drive to check illegal sale of acid in Delhi

He directed the Divisional Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Revenue) to immediately constitute a joint team of area SDMs, DCW representatives and Delhi Police personnel. The Chief Secretary issued strict instructions that these joint teams will conduct daily raids and any place found to be selling illegal liquor or not maintaining proper records shall be booked on the spot both by the SDM and the Delhi Police. DCW was asked to collect local intelligence through its network of women and identify the shops that were selling acid which could then be raided. The Chief Secretary stated that this would be a 10-day special drive of the Delhi Government and similar drives will be conducted on a regular basis.

In the past 10 days, the joint teams of SDM, DCW and Delhi Police have conducted over 100 raids and issued challans of over Rs 7 lakh. The teams also seized over 1000 litres of concentrated acid by posing as decoy customers. In one visit to Narela, the team seized over 240 litres from one small shop. The acid was being sold openly and the shopkeeper even prodded the team to buy larger amounts. In another raid, over 250 litres were seized by the team in Najafgarh sub-division area. Here too, the acid was being sold without any deterrence. In almost all shops no records of acid stored in the shops were maintained which is in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines and orders of the Delhi Government. The raids were conducted all over Delhi in over 24 sub-divisions.

The Chairperson DCW Swati Maliwal applauded the Chief Secretary for taking this initiative and stated, "Illegal sale of acid and more importantly easy availability of concentrated acid in the open market is a serious issue affecting Delhi. Several acid attacks could have been prevented had there been a stringent check on sale of acid. I welcome the proactive initiative of the Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev and hope that this will create a major deterrence for both the shopkeepers as well as those seeking to purchase acid. Further, the Delhi Government should work on banning the retail sale of acid. The Chief Secretary has ordered that the same must be examined."

The Chief Secretary said, "I am deeply disturbed with the prevalence of acid attacks in Delhi. I believe an acid attack is one of the most painful traumas that a human being can go through. We are strictly against the open sale of acid and shall take all measures to stop it. I have directed all SDMs and Police officials to practice zero tolerance against the open sale of acid. We will leave no stone unturned for achieving an acid-free Delhi."

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