The acid attack on a lady doctor in west Delhi this week was a revenge plot by a male colleague after she turned his marriage proposal down, the police said on Thursday.
Senior resident doctor Ashok Yadav, 32, and his BPO executive friend Vaibhav hired two juveniles for Rs 25,000 to carry out the crime that left the 30-year-old victim with a damaged right eye and severe burns to her face. All four have been apprehended.
Yadav lived in the same area as the victim and allegedly was in a three-year-long relationship with her that ended recently, officials said. "They studied medicine together in Russia and were practising at the same hospital," said Tajendra Singh Luthra, Joint CP (south-western range).
Though they remained friends after the victim declined his proposal, police said news of her engagement and wedding pushed Yadav over the edge.
"During interrogation, Yadav claimed 'Main sabak sikhana chahta tha usse' (wanted to teach her a lesson)," said a senior official.
Yadav asked Vaibhav's help, who introduced him to the two juveniles from the same area, police said.
The juveniles hurled acid at the victim's face on her way to work in west Delhi's Rajouri Garden area on Tuesday morning.The bike-borne juvenile assailants also snatched her hand bag and managed to flee towards the main market, while locals rushed to her rescue and informed the authorities.
"The robbery was a trick to mislead the investigators. The belongings were later recovered from Yadav's house," said Pushpendra Kumar, DCP (west).
The four had even practiced the attack on Yadav himself on December 17 with water.
To ensure accuracy and minimum damage, a syringe was used.
The victim remains under treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences with doctors saying that she may lose visibility in her right eye completely. "In spite of several surgeries and treatment to the eye, there is a realistic possibility that she could lose her right eye," said Dr Amit Gupta, spokesperson, AIIMS.