SRINAGAR: The authorities in Kashmir are not maintaining record of acid purchases and sales despite clear directions from the court of law in this regard. The authorities, however, possess records of the schools where various forms of concentrated and diluted acids are used for experiments in laboratories.
The court had issued directions to the acid dealers to maintain record of the people who purchased acids from them in the backdrop of several acid-throwing incidents, especially on young women.
The traders say that they have maintained records of their sales ever since the directions were issued but they say that the information is not taken by the concerned authorities for maintaining records.
Niyaz Ahmad Hakak, an acid dealer from Zaina Kadal told Kashmir Reader that he has maintained records of every customer. “The acid dealers sell acid only to the persons whom they know,” he said and added that sometimes an official from the concerned police station visits his shop to check the records.
“They don’t take the documents with them nor do we submit them,” he said.
Mehraj –ul-Din, an acid dealer at Maharaj Ganj told Kashmir Reader that the dealers maintain records of those who buy acid from their shop. “The customers have to submit Xerox of Adhar card and phone number for our records,” he said.
He said they insist on stipulating the purpose of buying acid and mostly provide it to people who are known to them.
In last few years many acid attacks took place in Kashmir. On December 11, 2014, a 21-year-old law student was injured after two youth threw acid on her outside her college in Srinagar. The female student was grievously injured in the acid attack when she was on her way to college.
Before that Aijaz Ahmad, a farmer in Handwara region of Kupwara, attacked the 24-year-old woman outside her home with acid, causing burn injuries on her face. Despite this authority has failed to keep check on the menace.
The court in 2013 issued an order directing the state government to regulate the sale of acid. Following the court order, directions were issued several times that over the counters sale of acids must be banned in the districts unless the seller maintains a log register containing the details of persons to whom acid has been sold along with the quantity of the liquid.
“The log register shall contain the addresses of the person to whom it is sold. All sellers shall sell acid only after the buyer has shown photo ID issued by the government which also has the addresses of the person, Specify the reasons/purpose for procuring acid. All stocks of acid must be declared by the seller with the concerned SDM within 15 days. The acid shall be stored under the supervision of the person and there shall be compulsory checking of the students/personnel leaving the laboratories/place of storage where acid is used,” the directives reads.
Station House Officer (SHO) of Maharaj Gunj police station told Kashmir Reader that dealers do not submit records in the police station. “It is not mandatory to submit records in police station. They can maintain the records at their own place,” he said.
Sub-district magistrate, Srinagar (west) Riffat Naseem told Kashmir Reader that they keep check on the acids stored in schools only.