Mumbai acid attack: 'Jealous' neighbour held for Preeti Rathi's death

Nine months after the acid attack on a Delhi resident in Mumbai that claimed her life, her neighbour was arrested for allegedly carrying out the crime as he was jealous of her career growth, police said on Friday.

hidden January 17, 2014 21:04:14 IST
Mumbai acid attack: 'Jealous' neighbour held for Preeti Rathi's death

Mumbai: Nine months after the acid attack on a Delhi resident in Mumbai that claimed her life, her neighbour was arrested for allegedly carrying out the crime as he was jealous of her career growth, police said on Friday.

Mumbai acid attack Jealous neighbour held for Preeti Rathis death

Representational image. Reuters

Accused Ankur Panwar (23), a hotel management graduate, was a neighbour of victim Preeti Rathi and resided in Bhakra Beas Management Board Colony, was arrested from Delhi. He confessed to the crime saying that he hated her career growth, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.

"The reason for this extreme step the accused cited was that his parents often mocked him for not getting a job despite having completed his course and praised his neighbour Rathi saying she had got hold of a good job in Indian Navy. Because of this, Ankur was very jealous of her and had been looking for an opportunity to severely harm her in a bid to deface her so that her career gets destroyed," Roy explained.

On May 2, 2013, acid was flung on Rathi when she got down from Garib Rath Express at the Bandra Railway Terminus in Mumbai.

She was supposed to join Colaba Naval hospital INS Ashwini as a staff nurse. Having suffered severe damage to her lungs, she succumbed to the injuries on June 1 at the Bombay Hospital.

Government Railway Police had probed the case and arrested a man called Pawan Gehlot on suspicion, but could not prove his links in the case, after which he was discharged from the case.

Hearing a plea on alleged sluggish pace of probe in the case by Railway Police, Bombay High Court transferred the case to Mumbai Police Crime branch, which took over the investigation in December last year. A special team had been formed to probe the case.

"Eight months after the incident, we took over the case. There were no clues in the case. After thoroughly scrutinising of loads of technical data, analysing them and putting painstaking efforts, my team zeroed in on Ankur," Roy said.

PTI

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