Republic TV has launched a campaign seeking justice for Preeti Rathi, after the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, June 12, commuted the death sentence that had been awarded to Ankur Panwar, the man who had been convicted in the 2013 acid attack and murder case by a trial court in 2016, to life imprisonment.
Appearing on the primetime broadcast with Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Preeti Rathi's mother Roshni Devi vowed to fight for justice till her daughter's killer is hanged.
"She suffered," Roshni Devi said, holding that "The court has taken a wrong decision"
Affirming her intention to keep fighting, she asked "The way my daughter suffered, if every parent's child suffers that way, will they remain silent?"
Making repeated and heartbreaking references to how Preeti Rathi had suffered while she fought for her life for a whole month before succumbing, Roshni Devi said, "I won't get anything from his (Preeti's killer's) death but my daughter's death will be avenged. His (Preeti's killer's) parents will also think - 'her daughter suffered, today I am suffering for my son.'"
Preeti Rathi's mother spoke about the horrific act that had been committed in 2013 as the convict Panwar had flung Sulfuric acid at Preeti as she alighted from her train at Bandra Terminus having come to Mumbai to take up a job as a nurse in the city.
"Had my child done an act like this, I'd have shot them with my own hands," she said, describing the agony that Preeti went through:
"Acid went inside my daughter. How she must have suffered, only I, her mother, understands. The person who does an act like this, no matter whose son or daughter they are, if the parents support them, then they are enabling them."
The Bombay High Court, while commuting the sentence, had held that the case couldn't be termed as 'rarest of the rare' and had consequently set aside the first instance of a death penalty awarded by a trial court in an acid attack case. Opining on the decision to commute the sentence, she said, "He's been given a life term. How will life term help? He'll come out again, do a crime, again he'll be in the lock-up".
"What wrong had the girl done? He'll come out, tomorrow he'll attack me. Who will be responsible?," she asked, resolving to continue her fight for justice.
"I lost my daughter. I am fighting alone. His parents are sleeping soundly, I am suffering. Depressed, my husband also passed away," Roshni Devi narrated, concluding, "He (Ankur Panwar) won't be rehabilitated. He's worse than an animal."