Bhubaneswar, December 5: Following the arrest of the accused in the case of acid attack on Pramodini Raul, two of the leading social organisations have come together of the state to demand the establishment of a fast track court in the state for the relief of acid attack victims.
Institute for Social Development (ISD) and the Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP) - Legal Service Institute on Monday, held a press meet at Nehru Yuva Pratisthan demanding the same. The delegates informed about their discussion with Prafulla Samal, Minister, W&CD, P&C & SSEPD, about the rehabilitation of all the acid attack victims and making them self-dependent.
Even as incidents of acid attack on women in our state have been on the rise, most of them are not registered due to the fear of life threat for the victim. The discussion at the meeting pointed out some major flaws in the societal set up and legal provisions for the victims. For example, only 4 out of 50 such cases are registered, highlighted and the accused are arrested, while the rest of the cases perish in anonymity. The case of Pramodini Raul, which has attracted wide media attention, had legal action taken against the culprit after eight years. Thus, Pramodini along with social activist Subhashree Das had met the minister to devise plans for the immediate action and relief for the acid attack victims, which were highlighted at the meeting.
Elaborating on her conversation with the minister, Pramodini said, “Acid attack is a heinous crime; much like burning a person alive. Hence, punishment for this crime should be harsher, so that people shudder at the thought of committing the crime. Unfortunately, most of the cases are not being registered and those cases that are registered, neither get a proper response from the department, nor are they given justice in time. My case was closed down due to the negligence of the Police, only to be reopened after seven years. Sadly, I am still fighting for justice. So, we request the State Government to form a fast track court for the acid attack victims in the state.”
Social activist Subhashree Das said, “While fast track court maybe the fastest medium to provide justice to them, the victims would also need support from the government to lead a normal life.”
“We are thankful to our CM Naveen Patnaik, for his intervention in the cases helped in arrest of the culprits. Moreover, we request the government to provide free treatment facility for these victims and create opportunities for their self-employment. We must have a wing of ‘Sheroes’ in Odisha. Minister Prafulla Samal has committed on behalf of the state government to take necessary steps for the rehabilitation and welfare of the acid attack victims,” she added.
Vikash Das, President of CLAP and director of ISD, was also present at the press meet among others.