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New Law To Penalize Acid Attackers In Nepal

The acid cases in Nepal has grown in recent years. Nepal averages around 40 acid attackers per year. Recently, A 22-year-old Pabitra Karki was attacked by acid in Sitapaila, Kathmandu. Even at the time of lockdown, the acid attack incidents did not remain silent. Every year Nepal police record hundreds of acid attack cases which considered to be vastly increased. Many activist claims that the lack of adequate law is the main reason for the increasing number of acid attacks in Nepal.

However, in 2018, the Nepal government made some changes in the law. Sadly, those changes were not effective and it does not succeed to minimize the violence in Nepalese females. After much criticism and protest, the Nepalese government introduced a much-awaited ordinance in an apparent bid to punish acid attackers and discourage such incidents. Furthermore, the ordinance now awaits certification from President Bidya Devi Bhandari to become a law

Details About New Law To Penalize Acid Attackers

Regarding the increasing rape culture in Nepal, the law has a clause of a prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of Rs 1 million against someone pouring acid on somebody or using someone to do so, resulting in the loss of vision due to extreme harm to both eyes; or loss of hearing due to burning in both ears; or the face being disfigured due to significant burns; or both breasts being burned and completely impaired (in case of females); or burns in the genitals.

Also Read: Is the banning of sexual content the right solution?

Caption: Muskan Khatun a 15-year-old girl who is undergoing treatment after being attacked with acid.

Prison Sentence And Fines For Acid Attackers In Nepal

The ordinance includes a clause to penalize Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000 in fines with five to 10 years if any part of the body is disfigured. The ordinance also specifies that the perpetrator will be called to court, as the case with a killing case, if the victim dies for a period of time due to the acid attack. A prison sentence up to 10 years and a fine up to Rs 500,000 are both levied on the offender even though the assault does not affect ot harm victims.

Caption: Amitabh Bachhan Sent Warm Message Video To Acid Attack Survivor Muskan Khatun

The sum of fines is charged to the person in conjunction with the regulation. The law has since arranged for the emergency care of survivors of acid attacks. If the offender is not confirmed and if a complaint linked to an incident is not brought in court, the government will pay for all medical costs.

Related Article: New laws of Nepal that everyone should be aware of

Prominent Activist

Sangita Magar is an acid attack survivor who fought to change the Nepalese law. She is an activist for victims right after surviving an acid attack. Her initiation challenged Nepal’s laws on the acid and burn violence, a case where the Nepalese Supreme Court ordered for victims to get immediate financial support for treatment. The court also ordered the penalties for committing acid attacks which increased prison sentence from three to ten years.

Caption: Activist And Acid Attack Survivor Sangita Magar

In addition, later on, the decision became law in August 2018. However, she is still fighting to stop the unregulated sale of the acids in the Nepalese market as well as she still wants amendment in existing law. She was an increment in prison sentence including compensation and more support.

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