Need life imprisonment for acid attacks: Najma Heptulla to Maneka Gandhi

New Delhi: A strict law for acid attacks carrying a punishment of life imprisonment needs to be drafted, Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla said in an appeal to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. Heptulla cited the example of Bangladesh, which has a punishment of 25 years in jail for acid attacks, while emphasising on the need for severe punishment in cases of acid attacks.

“Bangladesh has a punishment of 25 years in jail. We should also have it too. Why 25, it should be 50 or even life imprisonment. I appeal to Maneka Gandhi to demand in Parliament that there should be life imprisonment not only in cases of acid attacks that are fatal but also in cases where it leads to deformities as those victims die a death every minute,” Heptulla told Gandhi.

Both Gandhi and Heptulla were attending the book launch of “Acid Wali Ladki” authored by Pratibha Jyoti. Gandhi, who had spoken before Heptulla at the event, said she desires a “death penalty for acid attackers”. She said, “I have a feeling of outrage and I would like to help in whichever way I can.”

The author of the book, Pratibha Jyoti, while giving her opening address spoke about the need to curb acts of violence against both women and children. “This book isn’t just about acid but about acts of violence against women and children,” she said.

Plastic surgeon Dr Ashok Gupta, who has dealt with acid attack cases throughout his career, proposed including acid attack victims in the below-poverty-line category to provide them easy access to medical treatment across hospitals.