Preeti Rathi’s father Amar Singh Rathi is pleased with the special women’s court verdict convicting Ankur Lal Panwar held guilty of murdering Preeti by throwing acid on her in May 2013. He is expecting that the accused should be awarded death sentence for the offence. Rathi is also happy that finally justice has been done to his daughter as he has been fighting a legal battle.
He said, “It took 3 years for us to get justice but I am happy that it has been finally delivered. I hope he gets death sentence,” he said.
Special Judge A S Shende convicted Panwar under Sections 302(murder) and 326B (Voluntarily throwing acid) of the IPC and is likely to hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on Wednesday. Ankur was held guilty for the charges of murder, also for causing serious hurt to the victim. The prosecution had alleged that Panwar was unhappy after Preeti rejected his marriage proposal and had decided to relocate to Mumbai for joining Indian Navy as nurse.
Special public prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam said, “The convict deserves nothing less than stringent punishment. After examining the call data records of Ankur and matching it with railway time table proved that he had travelled in the same train boarded by Preeti from Delhi.”
Rathi, who hailed from Delhi, had died of multiple organ failure after Panwar threw acid on her in May 2013. Police said acid was thrown on Rathi as Panwar was jealous of her career growth.
Preeti had alighted from Garib Rath Express at Bandra Terminus on May 2, 2013. She was accompanied by her father, aunt and uncle. A person wearing a mask approached near Preeti and threw acid on her as she sustained severe injuries. Initially, Preeti was taken to Gurunanak hospital in Bandra later she was referred to Masina hospital in Byculla. Since the victim had swallowed some acid she sustained 12-15 per cent burns on her face, neck, arms and throat region. Subsequently she died of her injuries.
The Mumbai police arrested Ankur Panwar, a neighbour of Rathi, in connection with the case. Both Preeti and Ankur had resided in the same colony in Narela, New Delhi. Despite doing hotel management course Panwar was unable to find a job. On the other hand, Preeti had successfully cleared the Armed Forces examinations. Ankur’s father used to reprimand his son and praise Preeti for her achievements. Frustrated Ankur then decided to get rid of Preeti.
On the other hand, Panwar’s mother Kailash said that her son had been falsely implicated and demanded a CBI inquiry into this case.
“We have been implicated just because we were poor. I want a CBI inquiry into the case,” she said.