Mumbai, Sep 8: In a first, a Special Court on Thursday awarded the death penalty to Delhi resident Ankur Narayanlal Panwar for a fatal acid attack his neighbour Preeti Rathi as she stepped off a train here in May 2013. Special Women’s Court Special Judge A.S. Shende had on Tuesday found Panwar guilty of hurling sulphuric acid at Delhi resident Rathi which resulted in her death a month later. Preethi had come to Mumbai to take up a job After hearing both sides on the quantum of punishment over the past two days, Special Judge Shende pronounced the death sentence on 27-year old Panwar, who was the victim’s neighbour in Delhi.(ALSO READ: Jigisha Ghosh case: File in High Court for confirmation of death penalty)
“The convict had a one-sided love for the victim. He asked her not to travel to Mumbai and wanted to marry her, but the girl had rejected his marriage proposal,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the media after the verdict. Then out of jealousy he planned her murder, followed her all the way to Mumbai and threw acid on her at Bandra Terminus station, Nikam added. “I am fully satisfied by the verdict, Justice has been done to our daughter,” said the victim’s father Amar Rathi immediately after the judgement. However, Rathi said if the convict challenged the verdict all the way to the Supreme Court, he would fight it even there.
A resident of Narela in New Delhi, Rathi, 23, was attacked shortly after she alighted from the Garib Rath Express train at Bandra terminus on the morning of May 2, 2013. She succumbed to multiple organ failure on account of the severe acid burns on June 1 that year. Panwar, who managed to evade suspicion for eight months after the incident, was finally nabbed on January 17, 2014 by the Mumbai Crime Branch from his New Delhi home. Both the victim and the accused were neighbours and family friends in Bhakra Beas Management Board Colony.