Three months after the Mumbai crime branch arrested 23-year-old Ankur Panwar for allegedly throwing acid on his 23-year-old neighbour Preeti Rathi at Bandra Terminus railway station, the investigating agency on Wednesday filed a 1,322-page charge sheet in the case.
The police have submitted a list of 98 witnesses, of which the statements of the accused's mother, Preeti's uncle and the acid dealer will play an important role in nailing the accused.
Crime branch officials have claimed that they have written to the government to appoint advocate Ujjwal Nikam as the special public prosecutor in the case.
According to the charge sheet, the mother of the accused, a Delhi resident, in her statement to the police claimed that Ankur had reportedly confessed to her about his involvement in the case a few days after he was arrested. "They arrested my son on January 17, 2014 to interrogate him. Five days after the arrest, the police revisited my place along with my son with an intention to conduct a house search. It was then that my son informed me that he was the one who had hurled acid on Preeti's face," Ankur's mother said in her statement.
The police have attached the statement of a 31-year-old acid dealer, Mukesh Bhargav, who had sold 2 kg of sulphuric acid to the accused. Bhargav owns an acid go-down in the Kundali area of Delhi. Bhargav in his statement claimed, "A 23-year-old had approached the go-down in 2013 and had asked me for 2 kg of sulphuric acid. The boy had informed me that he had opened a battery recharge centre named Ankur batteries and needed some acid for the same."
In her uncle's words
The charge sheet also reveals that Vinod Dahiya, uncle of Rathi, claimed that he had seen the accused in train. "I first met the accused in the train. He asked asked me about my destination. When I heard Preeti scream in pain at Bandra station, I saw a man, who had covered his face and running. I ran behind him. At one point, when the accused looked back, the handkerchief on his face fell and I realised that he was the same man I had seen in the train."