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Tough to identify a masked man, say witnesses of acid attack on girl

The city police are still not sure whether they have managed to nab the man who threw acid on 25-year-old trainee nurse Preeti Rathi as she arrived at the Bandra Terminus from Delhi on May 2.

Neither Preeti’s uncle who was with her when the attack took place, nor a cleaner at Bandra station who witnessed the attack, were able to identify Pawan Gehlaun, the 24-year-old BTech student who has been detained, as the attacker. “A platform cleaner who was present at the spot and followed the accused after the attack, saw Gehlaun today but was not confident about he being the attacker,” said Preeti’s uncle Vinod Dahiya yesterday.

Gehlaun insists he is innocent and says he was not in the city when the incident took place.

“Gehlaun’s build is similar to the man who attacked Preeti. I saw this man on the train holding a plastic bottle. I felt there was something fishy about him. But I cannot remember his face. I don’t think the police can go by only our description. How can anyone be arrested based on a body type?” he said, adding that it was harder to identify the attacker since he was wearing a mask at the time of the attack.

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