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Gulista acid case: Attacker arrested as victim recognises his voice at hospital

The woman, Gulista, overheard a conversation between the suspect, who is the victim’s alleged ex-boyfriend, and her mother.

noida Updated: Apr 06, 2017 09:15 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Ghaziabad, Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad acid attack,Gulista acid attack,Greater Noida
Police arrested on Wednesday a 22-year-old suspect in a case of acid attack in Ghaziabad.(Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

The suspect who is said to have poured a litre of acid on his ex-girlfriend, Gulista, when she was sleeping at her Ghaziabad home last month was caught on Wednesday after she identified his voice at the hospital.

The 21-year-old woman, who has been partially blinded by the attack, heard her assailant speak to her mother at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi where he had gone to check on her out of curiosity.

The 22-year-old suspect, identified as Shahrukh, is from Dadri in Greater Noida.

Shahrukh met Gulista through a common friend and fell in love with her, but she didn’t reciprocate his proposals and treated him as a friend. She broke the friendship a year ago when he proposed marriage.

In the meantime, Gulista’s family arranged her wedding with a man from Khurja, just before her elder sister got married on March 17.

File photo of 21-year-old Gulista. ( HT Photo )

A poultry dealer at Ghazipur wholesale market on the New Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, Shahrukh has been pining with unrequited love and plotted “revenge” when he heard about Gulista’s wedding, which was due in April.

He bought a canister of sulphuric acid, entered the woman’s home from the backyard that leads to an under-construction house around 3am on March 21, and emptied the concentrated liquid on her, police said.

“He spoke to my mother and my sister overheard the conversation. We were surprised that an unknown man knew so much about her condition.”

The suspect escaped, leaving behind an empty plastic can and a woman screaming in pain.

Gulista suffered more than 50% burns and was dashed to Safdarjung Hospital for treatment. The acid scalded the woman from head to torso, and blinded her.

Police groped in the dark for clues and registered a “blind case” — one in which there are no suspects and no identification of the attackers.

Also, Gulista was too traumatized and in pain to recollect her past and suspect Shahrukh for the crime.

But the man dug his own trap when he visited “the hospital a couple of days ago and enquired about my sister’s health”, said the woman’s brother, Zahid.

The family members of Gulista show a burnt bed after the acid attack. ( Ameeruddin / HT photo )

“He spoke to my mother and my sister overheard the conversation. We were surprised that an unknown man knew so much about her condition,” he said.

“My sister asked my mom if the man was Shahrukh. She said Shahrukh had once threatened to deface her. My mother informed my father immediately about this man. We then called police.”

It didn’t take police long to arrest Shahrukh thereafter.

“He was anticipating her death after the attack. Since she didn’t die but her eyesight was damaged, he went to the hospital and spoke to her family. His voice gave him away,” superintendent of police Salmantaj Patil said.

Besides, police have footage from a surveillance camera at a nearby temple that shows Shahrukh and two more men on a bike around the time the attack happened.

The arrested man told police that he was keeping track of Gulista through her brother-in-law, who was an acquaintance.

First Published: Apr 05, 2017 20:41 IST