• Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freedom in the air

Editorial

Acid violence still uncontrolled

Police and community need to act

The incidence of acid throwing that wreaks lethal damage on human person by rogues reflects adversely on two levels: Preventative inadequacies of the community we live in; and to make matters worse, there is a huge policing and legal application deficits.
As for the community, whilst parental authority has dwindled; teachers and elders shy away from standing up to bad guys, it will take some organised collective initiative of society to ward off repression of the weak and vulnerable. The brewing of an acid attack should be noted and nipped in the bud by a societal or local government intervention.
On police and prosecution levels, there is a good deal of work to be done. And this is why. An overwhelming number of perpetrators of acid violence, the most macabre crime that a male member of society can commit against a girl or a woman, remain at large, giving two hoots to law enforcement. The Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) puts the figure of the attackers at 88 percent of the accused over the last 12 years roaming free.
How weak the prosecution side has been is amply illustrated by the following data: Out of charge sheets submitted in 1,128 cases, only 293 accused received punishment whilst, 1,687 were acquitted. To round off the abysmal failure of law enforcement one has to only look at the conviction rate. In altogether 1,891 cases, 13 persons received death penalty, but none has yet been executed.
To say that 85 attacks last year have been the lowest in 12 years means we have a long way to go to get the menace over with.

Published: 12:00 am Monday, June 09, 2014

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