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Acid sale curbs after attack

Manipur social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen (left) visits the acid attack victim at hospital. File picture

Imphal: The Manipur government is mulling regulation of sale of acid after the first acid attack in the state recently.

Md Shahdad, 22, allegedly threw acid on Mangsatabam Menaka, 32, at Soibam Leikai in Imphal East on December 29 last year. The woman, who was coming home on a scooter from her tea stall in the city, sustained 10 per cent acid burns on her neck and chin. Earlier that day, the attacker had come to the tea stall looking for someone.

The accused was arrested and now lodged in jail. It is still not clear why Shahdad committed the crime.

The incident sent shockwaves as it was the first case of acid attack in Manipur and several citizens' organisations had demanded stringent punishment for the attacker.

The issue came up in the Assembly on Friday with a Congress member calling for stringent measures to check the sale of acid to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

"This is the first case of acid attack in Manipur. The attacker has been arrested and a chargesheet framed against hi. The trial will start soon," leader of the House and chief minister N. Biren Singh said in reply to a question raised by Congress member K. Ranjit Singh.

Biren Singh, who also hold the home portfolio, said the attacker collected the acid from an autorickshaw battery.

The accused has been booked under Section 326A of the IPC, relating to acid attack, which provides a minimum jail term of 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment.

Biren Singh said the sale of acid cannot be banned as it is required for practical examinations and laboratory tests in educational institutions and for use in battery.

"We have instructed police not to allow the sale of acid freely. The government is considering introducing a regulation on the sale of acid after examining all aspects," Biren Singh told the House.

The chief minister said his government provided a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to the victim for her treatment.

He also announced that his government has proposed to increase the financial assistance to injured persons, who are entitled to the aid, from Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh.

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