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By Raman, Class 8, Vishwa Bharati Public School, New Delhi

It is a matter of utter embarrassment and shame that heinous 'acid attacks' are being perpetrated with impunity and fearlessness in broad daylight (‘Ground Zero’ page – "Bengal’s burning shame”, January 6). Equally shameful is the fact that despite the various provisions in Indian criminal law to curb this, the ‘deterrence factor’ is missing, with rules being flouted every now and then. A poor conviction rate, studies have shown, dilutes the efficacy and the ability of the law to deter potential perpetrators, which is primarily the case with our system. This is not just a matter of a regular law and order problem but a more complex one involving the fundamental right of a woman to occupy public spaces freely and without fear. At the same time, one cannot totally blame the authorities for the prevalent situation, for without active societal involvement and appropriate behavioural changes, even the most stringent of laws are bound to be flouted. 

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