Delhi schoolgirl attack: DCW notice to Amazon, Flipkart over acid sale
A day after a 17-year-old schoolgirl fell prey to an acid attack in southwest Delhi’s Dwarka area, it emerged that the three men accused of the heinous crime ordered the chemical on e-commerce site Flipkart.
Even as the girl remains in Safdarjung Hospital with 8 per cent burns, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Thursday sent notices to Flipkart and Amazon over “easy availability of acid.” Despite a Supreme Court ban on the over-the-counter sale of acid, this attack has exposed just how easily anyone can buy it in the country.
The Class XII student was headed for school on Wednesday when two men on a bike zipped past and the pillion rider flung acid at her. A CCTV camera on the road recorded the incident. The girl’s father later told the media that the acid had seared the girl’s face and entered her eyes.
An investigation led police to 20-year-old Sachin Arora, who reportedly had a fallout with the victim in September. Harshit Aggarwal, 19, and Virender Singh, 22, allegedly helped him.
Arora and Aggarwal were on the bike when the schoolgirl was attacked, while Singh allegedly took Arora’s scooter and mobile phone to another location to create a fake alibi and mislead the police. Police picked up the trio within 12 hours.
Call for retail sale ban
Arora allegedly ordered the acid on Flipkart and paid using his e-wallet, NDTV quoted senior police officer Preet Hooda as saying. Flipkart is yet to issue any statement.
Following a rise in acid attacks, the Supreme Court in 2013 banned over-the-counter sale of acid. The sale of acid is now restricted; only licensed shop owners can do so. They must be registered and keep a register of those buying acid from them. Those buying acid must cite a valid reason and submit their ID proof.
According to DCW chief Swati Maliwal, buying acid is “as easy as buying vegetables.” She said in a video statement on Wednesday, “It is unfortunate that despite repeated recommendations of the DCW, the retail sale of acid is not banned. Acid is being sold openly in markets, unchecked. In fact, it is as easy to obtain acid as it is to buy vegetables. The government must ban the retail sale of acid.”
(With agency inputs)