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Acid attack: A girl holds the key
Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | January 31, 2004 18:45 IST
Police believe the three women -- Mansi Shingarpure, Shirley Thomas and Sunita Prasanna, employees of ICICI Bank -- who were injured in an acid attack in a Mumbai local on Friday night were not the intended victims of the culprit.
According to Railway Police Commissioner S Savarkar, a witness has said that the attacker, a boy in his early twenties, was targeting another girl with whom he was having an argument at Bandra station.
As the girl boarded the train, the boy chased her and threw a bottle full of acid on her through the window. The girl got off at Khar and that was the last she was seen, Savarkar quoted the witness as saying.
Shingarpure, Thomas and Prasanna, who were seated near the window, were injured and were rushed to Baba Hospital in Bandra.
Another passenger, Saifullah Rahmatullah, who suffered minor burns, was treated at Cooper Hospital.
Savarkar told rediff.com: "We want to appeal to that girl that she should come forward and give the name of the person who attempted to throw acid on her.
"Our investigations show this was a private affair of a girl and boy."
Asked why the witness didn't try to catch the attacker, Savarkar said: "He was in another compartment... all this happened in a moment and let me remind you the train was picking up speed when this incident took place. But he has provided us with vital clues about the appearance of that streetwalker."
According to earlier reports, the attacker had boarded the train and the attack took place between Vile Parle and Andheri.
Asked why there were no cops in the ladies compartment, Savarkar said: "After 10 pm, this ladies compartment becomes a general compartment. So there was no need for a policeman... but still we are inquiring into this matter."
Asked if any of the women in the compartment saw the attacker, Savarkar said, "All the injured ladies had nothing to do with this streetwalker and it is only this girl who can help us in finding the culprit. I want to tell this girl through media that her identity will be kept a secret and police protection will be given to her.
"We believe that this girl was not injured and, therefore, there was no need for her to take any medical treatment."
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