Family of acid attack victim slams slow pace of probe

To submit letter to GRP commissioner seeking intervention.

Written by Express News Service | Published:May 14, 2013 3:19 am

The family of Delhi nursing graduate Preeti Rathi,who fell victim to an acid attack at Bandra Terminus on May 2,has criticised the slow pace of investigation in the case.

In a letter drafted for Mumbai government railway police (GRP) commissioner Prabhat Kumar,her father Amarsingh has repeatedly claimed Pawankumar Gahalon,a 24-year-old BTech student arrested in Delhi last week,was not involved in the attack and police were still to find the real culprit.

Police said Gahalon of Rohtak in Haryana used to visit his aunt who is a neighbour of the Rathis in Narela,Delhi,and they arrested him on “reasonable suspicion”.

A masked man had flung acid at Preeti as the family alighted from Garib Rath Express,injuring her face and other body parts and also Amarsingh,aunt Sunita and two male passengers. Preeti was to join Army Medical College in Colaba as a lieutenant. Police believe the attacker fled on Jammu Tawi Express.

“CCTV footage from the railway station shows a few drops of acid also fell on the attacker,but there are no burn injuries to Gahalon. We are unhappy with the probe so far and are writing to Prabhat Kumar in the hope that he will intervene and speed up investigation. We will meet him Wednesday to submit the letter,” Amarsingh said.

The father had demanded Monday a CBI probe.

Azadsingh,father of Gahalon,visited Masina Hospital,where Preeti is recuperating,Monday. “He is very upset that his son has been wrongly arrested. He is just as shocked by the attack as we are,” Amarsingh said.

A Bandra GRP officer admitted probe was reaching a deadend in Delhi.

“Our only remaining hope is other members of Rathi family in Delhi whom we expect to speak of individuals who may have had a motive to harm Preeti. Unfortunately,we cannot speak to Preeti again and again as she requires quiet to recover. Our biggest challenge is the suspects are all in Delhi. Her family here has been cooperating but says there are no former lovers who may have wanted to hurt Preeti. We have Gahalon custody till May 17 and hope to get leads by then,” he said.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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