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Preeti A. Rathi Murder: India’s First Death Verdict in an Acid Attack case in Mumbai

Both the victim and the accused were neighbours and family friends in Bhakra Beas Management Board Colony

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An acid attack victim. (Representational Image, Source: flickr)

MUMBAI, September 09, 2016: On Thursday, a Mumbai Special Court declared a death penalty verdict to a Delhi man, Ankur Narayanlal Panwar, for hurling acid at Preeti A. Rathi, which led to her death in 2013.

“This is the first case of a death penalty in an acid attack case in the country after the amendment to the relevant laws in 2013. It will serve as a major deterrent to potential offenders,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told IANS, hailing the judgement.

Special Women’s Court Special Judge A.S. Shinde, who on Tuesday found the accused guilty, pronounced the death sentence after hearing the defence and prosecution on the quantum of punishment.

“As per the mitigating and aggravating circumstances of the case, the accused … will be hanged by his neck till death, subject to confirmation by the Bombay High Court,” the judge said in her ruling.

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During the arguments, Nikam sought death for the convict on grounds that this case fell in “the rarest of rare” category. It is the 38th case in his legal career in which Nikam has secured death sentence.

Defence lawyer Apeksha Vora argued for life sentence citing the hotel management graduate Panwar’s young age, his poor family background and lack of any past criminal record.

The Special Women’s Court found him guilty under Indian Penal Code Section 324B and Section 302 for causing grievous hurt by acid attack and murder.

The 23-year old victim, Rathi was a nurse and had arrived in Mumbai to join the Indian Navy’s INS Asvini Hospital as a nurse when the incident cut short her life and career.

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“The fatal attack on Rathi has a larger impact on society. She was looking forward to her job in Indian Navy but was killed mercilessly. The offence is a glaring case of such acid attacks on women,” Nikam argued.

“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,” Nikam told the media after the verdict.

Out of sheer jealousy he planned her murder, followed her all the way to Mumbai and then threw acid on her at Bandra Terminus station, he added.

The incident occurred on the morning of May 2, 2013, when Preeti, accompanied by her father Amar Singh Rathi, an aunt and an uncle alighted from the Garib Rath Express at Bandra.

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Minutes later, an unknown person with his face covered hurled nearly two litres of sulphuric acid at Rathi and disappeared in seconds.

The severely injured and profusely bleeding girl was rushed to a hospital for treatment but succumbed to multiple organ failures arising out of the acid burns on June 1.

“I am fully satisfied by the verdict. Justice has been done to our daughter,” said the victim’s father Rathi.

Rathi said if the convict challenged it in the Supreme Court, he would fight the case there too.

The Special Court relied on eyewitness accounts of other passengers at the railway station, the accounts of witnesses who saw him buying the acid from a New Delhi shop and his (Panwar’s) own injuries while hurling the acid.

Without solid leads, the Mumbai Police had arrested an engineering student from Rohtak, Haryana, but he was let off due to lack of evidence.

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Since Panwar had covered his face, it became practically impossible for the investigators to identify him though Rathi had named him as one of the possible suspects.

It was only some 45 days after the Mumbai Crime Branch took over the case that Panwar was finally nabbed from his Delhi home on January 17 – around eight months after the incident.

Panwar claimed he was taunted and insulted by his own family members and neighbours for his inability to get employment while Rathi had secured a prestigious assignment with the Indian Navy.

Both the victim and the accused were neighbours and family friends in Bhakra Beas Management Board Colony.

During the trial, call data records of Panwar when tallied with the railway timetables showed that he had travelled on the same train as the victim.

It proved Panwar was present at the spot at the time of the crime in Mumbai though his family had earlier claimed he had gone to Haridwar and the Rathi family said they had not seen him on the train.

Earlier, a Rs 200,000 compensation was given to the victim’s parents by the District Legal Services Authority’s Victim Compensation Committee. (IANS)

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Skincare Routine for Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle

Alter your skincare regime to follow your menstrual cycle

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Menstrual cycle
There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. Pixabay

Within a 28-day cycle our complexion can change drastically; from crystal clear one minute, to pimples the next, super dry and flaky to oily and unpleasantly shiny. Whether you are a pimple popper or a diligent skincare devotee, we just cant win against the spots and zits that Aunt Flo brings in.

There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle, say experts.

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To understand the cause and amp up your arsenal to fight the zits, here are the stages of a menstrual cycle and changes our body goes through:

Stage 1: The Menstrual Phase (Day 1 to 5)

Menstrual cycle
You need to take special care of your skin during the first phase of your menstrual cycle. Pixabay

The first phase starts with day one of your period, and it tends to be the peak time of the month when we are most vulnerable to breakouts. During this time, our bodies start to produce excess oestrogen, which triggers the production of oil and sebum, and causes skin the main aggregators to spots. Try to battle the sluggishness of the body that accompanies during such time and take care of skin by gently exfoliating and cleansing the face, especially the T-zone, which is often the main problem area as it is the most oily, as well as our chin, and around the nose too.

Stage 2: The Follicular Phase (Day 5 to 15)

The midpoint in a woman’s cycle is when we notice our skin has become dry and flaky, in comparison to the week before, which left us feeling like a grease ball, all because our oestrogen levels have dropped.

During these 10 days our skin, and body, is crying out for some extra TLC. Say yes to hydration for repairing the skin’s barrier after a week of going through the volatility of hormones in the first phase.

Hydrating masks, deeply nourishing moisturisers, vitamin sprays, and simply drinking all the H20 will work wonders on the skin and help to achieve the desired glow.

Menstrual cycle
The last stage of your menstrual cycle gives you a glowing skin. Pixabay

Stage 3: Luteal Phase (Day 15 to 28)

In the last leg of your cycle, and the prime time to show off your radiant skin in all the selfies your camera roll can handle.

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During these two-weeks ahead of your next period your blood circulation will increase, thanks to oestrogen, which instantly leaves us looking fresh faced with a bit more colour in our cheeks. Although oestrogen will start to rise again it is not to the point where our face becomes too oily.

Also Read- Dont Buy Your Wine Without Tasting it

Our skin in this fortnight will easily absorb ingredients, which is why we still need to be mindful of what we put on our skin, and in our bodies too.

So, while you are tailoring your beauty routine, be a 10-step Korean-inspired regime or a simple CTM, try making changes keeping in mind the monthly cycle to retain the glow throughout the year. (IANS)