The Bombay High Court on Thursday said “substantial time had lapsed” since an unidentified man flung acid on 25-year-old Preeti Rathi when she alighted at the Bandra Terminus on May 2 and directed the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) to depute an officer of the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) to take over the probe from a senior inspector of the local crime branch.
According to the police, the man took the Jammu Tawi Express and fled within minutes of the attack. Rathi, who had come to Mumbai from Delhi, was to join the Colaba Naval Hospital at INS Ashwini as a staff nurse. She succumbed to her injuries on June 1.
Looking at the sketches and grabs recorded on the day of the incident by additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai, the bench said, “Despite the CCTV footage, you are unable to catch the offender. What is the use of having CCTV cameras? It requires immediate good sense to act... If it was reported (incident), somebody should have stopped Jammu Tawi.”
“No matter how much time had passed after the incident, Jammu Tawi should have been stopped,” the bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere said.
Pai informed the court that around 65,000 call logs had been analysed by the investigating agencies. When the court asked Pai whether the sketches had been circulated all over India, she said they were circulated only in Haryana, Delhi and Mumbai. The court said if she was from the northern part of India, then the photos should have been circulated everywhere.
“It (case) was widely reported and created a public outcry and is not solved so far. It relates to women’s safety and the police need to properly and efficiently investigate and instil confidence in public at large. The case requires to be investigated further in a scientific manner,” said the court.
GRP narrows search for culprit to friends, kin
MUMBAI: Following an eight-month probe into the incident, the Government Railway Police (GRP) have concluded that the culprit could be someone from Preeti’s family or friend circle, and hails from either Delhi or Haryana.