Ankur Panwar’s family is planning to move the Bombay High Court against the death sentence awarded to him for allegedly throwing acid at a Delhi nurse and killing her.
Ankur is the first person to be given death for throwing acid at Preeti Rathi at Bandra Railway Station in May 2013. She succumbed to her injuries a month later. After her death, the Supreme Court ordered regulation on the sale of acid.
Ankur’s family claimed their boy is being framed by Mumbai Police. “The police had framed another boy, Pawan, in the case, who served three months in jail and was honourably discharged,” Ankur’s father Narayan Lal Panwar, 52, said.
“In Ankur’s case, too, the police presented false witnesses in the court,” he said.
To express their sympathies, Panwar’s friends are visiting him at his house in Samaypur village, Faridabad, 60 kilometres from Delhi. Panwar shifted to Faridabad from Narela after the Mumbai Police arrested his son in January 2014.
Lal, who heard the court verdict on television, shows several letters that he wrote to the local MP Udit Raj and Union home minister Rajnath Singh between 2014 and 2015, demanding CBI probe in the case.
He has a letter from the home minister in response to a recommendation from Udit Raj, promising to look into the case. “The Mumbai Police said my son travelled to Mumbai on May 1 via Garib Rath Express, the same train that Preeti and her family boarded,” Panwar said.
“They failed to show my son’s name on the list of passengers and later claimed that he had bribed two ticket collectors, R500 each, to travel on the train. It is surprising how Ankur managed to travel with a litre of acid in an AC compartment,” he said.
He also doubted Preeti’s uncle, who told police that he saw Ankur throwing acid at her. “The police said the man who threw acid had covered his face with a handkerchief,” Panwar said.
Ankur’s mother Kailash Rani asked why Preeti’s father, who was also with her, didn’t recognise her son and only her uncle saw him.