Wed, 07 Jun, 2023

People’s Opinions on Acid Attack Incident in Kathmandu

By Ashmita Kunwar

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Kathmandu, February 23rd was the day when two school girls had received  pain which raises the  question over safety of all other girls to live liberally because of the acid attack. Girls were in the tuition center preparing for the S.L.C (School Leaving Certificate), with an aim to score good marks but they had never thought that something horrific was going to transpire in their life.  The sensation of humanity is mortifying day by day, stunned by the incident like acid attack in city. What is happening, from which corner of their soul they think of something cruel like that??  This in not only concerned with those two girls however to all girls, who now after this incident do not feel comfortable to go out of home even to study. This is the big concern that should be solved out completely otherwise in coming days it might lead to more dangerous incident.

Let us read the opinion of different people about this attack which answers the questions like:

What was your first reaction when you heard about the recent acid attack in the city? How did you feel? "When I first heard about the recent acid attack in Kathmandu, I remembered news that I had read four years back about the acid attack in Bangladesh. I felt that people have really forgotten humanity and created confusion on whether human are the most superior among the entire animal in the world, as with such activity humans are degrading their character. This is not the first acid attack in Nepal; at least a dozen of such attacks had happened in Nepal. If government in past had declared harsh punishment to the attackers and strict rules for open selling of acid, innocent Nepali sisters would not have to become the victims of acid attacks frequently." Bijaya Shrestha, Academic Program Coordinator, DWIT, Kathmandu

The government has decided to charge criminals only with Rs. 2000 and 4 months of jail, is this all they deserve?  Does this minor punishment justify the loss those girls will have to suffer for their whole life? "As much as I tempted to say that the culprits MUST be hanged, I will refrain from saying so. I, for one, feel that it needs to be looked into from the holistic point so that the punishments 'decided'  for all such hate crimes must conform with one another. All I therefore say is no punishment is enough. I would still be unhappy if the fine was Rs 20,000 or Rs 200,000 or the imprisonment was 40 months or 400 months. No punishment justifies such crimes. The only punishment I can think of now is such criminals should bear the entire cost of getting the treatment of those girls." Hitesh Karki, Chief Academic Officer, DWIT, Kathmandu

If you had been given the power to punish those acid attackers, how would you punish them? "This is a difficult question. The immediate response is to put away the perpetrators in jail and let them rot there. However, that does not solve the deeper issue. Putting them in jail is curing the symptoms not the disease itself. The disease is the mindset of giving oneself the entitlement to inflict violence on women. That needs to be addressed in our homes. In our child rearing practices. A man wouldn't think of throwing acid on a girl's face if he grew up seeing women as his equal or as individuals with thoughts, feelings, will and independent persons." Menosh Zappl, English Faculty Member, DWIT, Kathmandu

What preventative measure should the government implement to stop such crime like acid attack in future?  "Government should first impose a law on acid attack, currently which we don't have. This law should be so strict that whoever  is going to commit the crime in future would think 10 times before committing it." Milan Lamichhane, Solution Architect, Deerwalk Services, Kathmandu

What would you do if they were your own sister in the acid attack instead of those two girls? "First of all, I would think of the best way to cure her like plastic surgery or immediate process to recover from the loss because for me, my sister’s life is more important than anything else. Then only, I would ask the government to find the culprit, give tough punishment and impose strict rules for such cases. Also, I would request government, media, organization and all other people to help victims in all possible way and organize awareness programs in the society to prevent such activities in future." Prakrit Joshi, Project Manager, Deerwalk Services, Kathmandu

Who do you think is responsible for this acid attack incident? "Government and we, people, are both responsible for it. Government -  for not taking strict actions against people for committing such an heinous act. There have been such incidents in the past, and perpetrators have been released within a few days of jail time, and by paying a measly fine of 10K rupees. Had the government taken bold steps and punished them harshly then and there, no one would have dared to even think of doing it. And the irony is, going through the news today, I read that those who throw Lola’s at uninterested parties during this Holi, will get slapped with a 2 years of jail time, but what about those who destroyed the lives of those girls? What would they get? A month of jail time, like all such perpetrators before? Such worthless is our Government. Furthermore, we are also responsible for it, for not teaching our children how to treat women. People here tend not to think of their women counterparts as their equals. Women have emotions, they have dreams and aspirations. They are human beings. They are us and we are them; we all are people. Until and unless we teach our children to respect women, we cannot expect for all these sexual and gender based crimes to go away. We have to uproot this sick mentality of our people that it is okay to treat girls in whichever way you like. Our men need to learn to respect women, and that needs to be taught by everyone in their household." Surendra Karki, Engineer, Verisk Information Technologies, Kathmandu

What advice would you like to give to acid attack victims that could motivate them in their life? "I would like to empathize with the victims, not offer sympathy: 'I am here with you. Let's get through this together.' " Craig Appl, Faculty, Programming Synthesis, DWIT, Kathmandu