Four sisters walking home in north India have been attacked by two men with acid, police said today. The women suffered burns in what appears to be a growing problem in South Asia.
"The victims were walking together when two men on a motorbike made lewd remarks and the man who was riding pillion splashed acid on all of them," Abdul Hameed, the senior police officer investigating the case, told AFP.
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"The youngest sister suffered maximum burn injuries and she had to be rushed to a hospital in Delhi."
The attack comes as President Pranab Mukherjee has just signed into law tough new legislation to curb violence against women. Yet acid attacks remain a problem, in India and also in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, BBC News reported.
The activist group Stop Acid Attacks has accused the government of ignoring the growing trend. In particular, the group says that if the Indian government wants to put its money where its mouth is, then it must regulate the sale of an acid called "Tezaab" which is designed to clean rusted tools but is commonly used in attacks, Al Jazeera reported.
That acid is currently easy and cheap for men to obtain. "Acid has become the cheapest and most effective tool for men to attack women in India," activist and victim Archana Kumari, told Al Jazeera.