Following the death of 23-year-old acid attack victim Preeti Rathi, state home minister RR Patil told her parents on Sunday that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would be asked to take over the investigation that is currently being carried out by the Government Railway Police (GRP).
Meanwhile, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan also announced an ex-gratia of Rs2 lakh for Preeti’s kin.
On May 2, an unidentified man had thrown acid on Preeti’s face minutes after she alighted the Garib Rath Express at the Bandra Terminus. After fighting for her life for a month, she finally succumbed to her injuries at Bombay Hospital on Saturday.
Amarsingh Rathi, Preeti’s father, who met Patil at his Malabar Hill residence has demanded a CBI probe in the case. “I have lost faith in the GRP as their investigation is going nowhere. The attacker is roaming freely, while my daughter struggled for her life,” Amarsingh told HT, adding that Patil had assured them that the probe would be handed to the central agency. “The home minister assured me it will be done by Monday,” he told the media. The home department, however, is yet to make an official statement.
“When she had started writing notes, we thought that she would recover. We did not expect her to be taken away from us this way,” said Amarsingh, a resident of Delhi, who has not eaten since the news of Preeti’s demise reached him. “We want justice for our daughter and will not rest till the culprit is brought to book,” he said, outside JJ Hospital while waiting to take custody of Preeti’s body.
Preeti’s body will be flown to Delhi on Monday where the family will perform the last rites.
Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar, member of National Commission for Women, also met Amar Singh and offered her condolences to the family.
‘Stop Acid Attacks,’ a campaign by an NGO Saraswati Siksha Samiti has also extended their support to the Rathi family. Survivors of acid attacks gathered outside Patil’s residence and also wrote a letter to him demanding regulation in the sales of acid and proper compensation for victims.
“The home minister has promised to give Rs2 lakh as compensation to the family and set up a committee to regulate the sale of acid,” said Alok Dikshit, member of Stop Acid Attacks.
Shaheen, 24, who was a victim of such an attack in 2009 said, “We were on our way to Mumbai to meet Preeti to motivate her to fight. I cannot express how upset I am by news of her death.”