The city police are contemplating on making recommendations to the State government that strong regulations be introduced on the over-the-counter sale of acids used for domestic purposes.
The decision comes in the wake of the deaths of two young women due to injuries sustained in acid attacks.
Twenty-year-old Vidya’s demise at the Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMCH) is the second death of an acid attack victim in the last fortnight. J. Vinodhini (23), a native of Karaikal, succumbed to her injuries at a private hospital in the city on February 13. She was initially admitted to the KMCH where she was treated for over three weeks.
“In the wake of the brutal acid attack cases and the victims’ demises, we have decided to take serious note of the crime and will try to bring in strong regulations on the sale of acids to the general public. Following a senior level meeting this week, the recommendations will be taken to the government to enforce them,” said a senior officer with the police commissionerate.
The recommendations are likely to include rules on the purchase of sulphuric acid, nitric acid and other acidic cleansers. Retailers would be sensitised on being discreet with regard to customer needs, the officer said.
In the attack that took place on January 30, Vidya sustained injuries to her hands, back and legs. Shopkeepers in the vicinity of her workplace prevented her attacker, Vijaya Bhaskar, from fleeing and handed him over to the police.
Vijaya Bhaskar had extended a marriage proposal, which Vidya’s family had been hesitant to accept immediately. “Bhaskar had attempted to talk to Vidya at the net centre thrice earlier but she declined to. This infuriated him and he decided to throw acid on her face. He then purchased a bottle of sulphuric acid from a shop in Parrys Corner and came to the net centre,” said an investigating officer.
The Adambakkam police arrested Vijaya Bhaskar, registering a case under Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder) and under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Harassment of Women Act.
Vijaya Bhaskar was remanded to custody and sent to Puzhal prison, where he remains. The case was altered to Section 302 (murder) of the IPC on Sunday following Vidya’s death.