Cops say a CCTV footage shows the accused running away from the crime scene while apparently trying to wipe acid off his face. The psycho wanted for Thursday’s acid attack on a Delhi nurse at the Bandra Terminus may have burnt himself in the process, the police said on Saturday even as the victim continues to be in a stable but critical condition.
The Bandra Government Railway Police (GRP) have obtained a video footage from one of the CCTV cameras at Platform No. 2 showing the unidentified suspect running away from the spot, trying to, what it seems like, wipe something off his face.
The GRP said that while the spot where the suspect threw acid at Preeti Rathi, 23, was out of CCTV surveillance coverage, one of the CCTVs at the platform has caught the suspect trying to escape. The video footage was shown to the victim’s uncle Vinod Dahiya — the only person who may have seen the suspect’s face – but he said the quality of the footage was too poor to be sure.
Rathi and her family were travelling to Mumbai after she had landed a nursing job with the Indian Navy, and was asked to report at the Indian Naval Hospital Ship (INHS) Asvini in Colaba upon arrival. On Thursday, the family was at the Bandra Terminus arranging their luggage when the horrifying attack took place. While the victim’s face has been completely burnt, she also lost her right eye, besides suffering deep burns on the neck, chest and hands.
‘Left eye also damaged’
On Saturday, doctors at Masina Hospital said that Rathi’s condition was critical but stable. The hospital’s medical director Dr Rohinton Dastoor told Mumbai Mirror, “On Friday, we took Preeti off ventilator to check if she could breathe unaided. But after some time her condition started deteriorating and we had to put her back on life support.” He added that the woman’s left eye was also damaged in the attack and the doctors are making all possible efforts to save the eye.
Hunt for the psycho
The victim, who is communicating with written notes, has told the police that she couldn’t see the face of her attacker as it was covered by a cloth, but is believed to have given a name to the police. Meanwhile, a Mumbai police team visited the victim’s house in Narela town on Delhi’s outskirts for clues. The team has also spoken to people in the neighbourhood, and some of the victim’s friends, but has found nothing so far.
‘Regularise sale of acid’
Following the incident, the head of Maharashtra-wing of the national commissioner for Women (NCW) has written to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Governor K Sankaranarayanan seeking the sale of acid to be regulated. Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said, “It is easy to acquire which is one of the reasons for the recent spike in acid-throwing attacks across the country.” In February, a Supreme Court bench had directed the additional solicitor general to hold consultations with state chief secretaries and deliberate a legislation to curb acid sales.