I have never really ever heard of a woman acid attacker. We are extremely well informed that acid attacks are a grave nuisance that has spoiled lives of thousands of women all over the Indian subcontinent. Angry jilted male lovers seeking revenge against the women who rejected have wrecked havoc in our country time and again, leaving our society in a fix- how do we detect and curb this crime?
How do we know that a clear water-like liquid in a bottle, not a knife, scissors, sharp objects or bullets, is going to ruin someone’s future forever in the next few moments?
At the center of it, it has always been a man who has been the perpetrators, putting to blame a strong patriarchal bias seeking to dominate over and possess a woman’s fortune.
What Happens When a Woman Becomes an Acid Attacker?
In a truly rare case, the Bangalore police have apprehended Lydia Yeshpaul for attacking her former beau Jayakumar Purushottam for throwing acid on the right side of his face before slashing it with a scalpel. The Bangalore police are stunned by this incident; they have reported that as per their 12 years worth of records, such a case of a woman acid attacker has never been registered. Jayakumar had separated from Lydia after dating her for 4 years. He refused to marry her based on religious differences and had started looking for a Hindu bride. Lydia couldn’t accept the rejection.
The heinousness of the crime and the overall trend of similar crimes lead much to conjecture, what truly leads a person to destroy someone’s life in such a fashion?
A crime is a crime; there needn’t be any specific gender bias for acquittal is something every legal stand by. Evil knows no gender or patriarchy, and in the end, the question not about a woman acid attacker but about what is being done to serve justice for the victim.
What Indeed? Let this Case not become Sensational For the Sake of It, And Instead, Initiate more Discussions for the Support, Justice, and Rehabilitation of the Victims.
As we have known, proper regulation of the sale and purchase is a mighty joke in India and our laws are certainly not strong enough to punish the criminals. Until 2013, it was not even a legitimate crime!
In the words of Shree Venkatram for The Wire, “It was only in 2013, after the Jyoti Singh gangrape and murder case, that India officially acknowledged its seriousness by introducing separate sections in the India Penal Code – 326A and 326B – to deal with acid attackers, making the offence non-bailable and specifying a minimum of ten years to life imprisonment.” Are ten years of imprisonment enough to quantify the minimum damage suffered by the victim for life?
Taking a cue from Bangladesh, India finally welcomed a death penalty for an acid attacker back on 9th September 2016. Bangladesh has successful lowered their acid violence rates through more stringent laws. But in India, it’s a matter of shame how three girls were attacked at a bus stop in West Bengal’s Bankura district on 12th September 2016 following the death penalty news.
The numbers of acid attack victims have only been on a rise every year. In a table by the Acid Survivors Foundation of India, we find that 225 cases registered in 2014 and 249 in 2015 approximately. Some say it was more than 500 in 2015 but unofficial reports tabulate over a thousand unreported cases which is a good thing that official numbers are climbing since more victims are coming forward for legal justice.
But what is the use when over 80% of the criminals get bail and trials stretch on for decades?
It shows that it isn’t enough to just punish one man when there are hundreds of lives affected and that we are a long way away from the culture of fear that would deter such nuisance. Let’s add it as another example to a ledger of heinous crimes to ensure a momentum of stringent reforms. It is not about patriarchy or a woman acid attacker, it is about justice which we hope is not denied to Jayakumar in his case.
Feature Image Credits: Buzzfeed