Preeti Rathi did not anticipate it coming. So when Ankur Panwar, her neighbour, threw acid on her at Bandra in Mumbai, it shocked one and all.
Preeti died later following multiple organ failure after she suffered burns on her neck, arms and hands. Her throat was deeply scarred as she swallowed a bit of the acid thrown at her by Panwar.
A Mumbai sessions court on Tuesday convicted Panwar on his offences holding him squarely accountable for the murder of Preeti in May 2013.
The conviction order of the court has been dubbed by Preeti's family as a closure of sorts. Her parents have been demanding death penalty for Panwar all along. They even sought that the CBI take over the case.
Investigations had revealed that the acid attacks on Preeti was plotted shrewdly and executed brutally too. “The moment Preeti landed up with her job as a lieutenant with the Indian Navy, Panwar got apprehensive that she may leave Delhi for ever. Thereafter, he went to plot her killing in a hideous manner,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told THE WEEK.
Panwar had initially proposed to marry Preeti but he was not in favour of her leaving Delhi. He turned angry when Preeti decided to take up the job at an armed forces hospital in Mumbai and leave Delhi.
Nikam added that the murder was cruelly executed by a cunning and scheming mind and the conviction of Panwar is “commensurate” with the nature of his offence and way the criminal act of murder was carried out.
Panwar was booked under sections 302 and 326B of the IPC with the announcement of the quantum of sentence happening on Wednesday.