Cops close to nailing acid attack culprit

May 29, 2013, 13:47 IST | Sagar Rajput

Officials reveal that features of the main accused and that of the man captured on CCTV are similar; sketches by art students also show an uncanny resemblance between the two

The police are inching closer towards nabbing the right man for the May 2 Bandra acid attack on Preethi Rathi, a 25-year-old who had arrived in the city from Delhi to take up a job of a nurse but was victimised the moment she stepped off the train at Bandra Terminus. According to cops, they have finally been able to collect enough evidence against the accused Pawan Gehlaun.

Preethi Rathi
Preethi Rathi

According to police officials, Gehlaun who claims to be innocent in the case was made to run in order to check if his gait resembled that of the man captured on the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera grabs. Cops found that there was a striking similarity. Additionally, art students were also brought in to prepare a series of sketches of the attacker based on the descriptions of eyewitnesses a cleaner and her family. Once again, the resemblance between the two was undeniable.

A CCTV grab from the terminus platform shows the attacker of victim Preethi Rathi wiping his face as he flees from the spot

“We made the accused run and we found many similarities between the man on the CCTV and the man accused. Also, the sketches made by the students also point fingers to Gehlaun,” said an investigating officer. Police authorities have also examined the entire train chart of the day of the incident and learnt that there were 600 girls travelling in the same train as Rathi and also were of the same age group.

An official said, “We checked the chart just to confirm if Rathi was the main target of the attack or was it meant for somebody else. But, after checking the chart we believe that is not the case.” He added that there were a few things that the family had been hiding from the authorities, which was making it more difficult to track the culprit.

Story so far
On May 2, a 25-year-old woman, on her maiden visit to Mumbai, was brutally attacked by a man, who boarded the same train as hers at New Delhi, followed her all the way to the city, and flung acid at her face as soon as she alighted from the train at the Bandra Terminus. Days after the incident, one suspect, Pawan Gehlaun, a 24-year-old B Tech student, was detained. However, he insists that he is innocent and says he was not in the city when the incident took place. 

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