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Indian man who killed woman with acid sentenced to death

Published 08/09/2016

Acid attack survivors mark the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi (AP)
Acid attack survivors mark the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi (AP)

A man has been sentenced to death in India for killing his neighbour by throwing sulfuric acid at her for refusing to marry him three years ago.

It is the first death sentence given for an acid attack under stringent laws introduced by the government to curb crimes against women following the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving bus in New Delhi in 2012.

A Mumbai court sentenced Ankur Panwar after finding him guilty of killing Preeti Rathi, 23, said prosecutors.

She died of serious burn injuries 30 days after the attack, which severely damaged her lungs, vocal cords and eyesight.

Panwar followed the victim on a train from New Delhi where they lived and attacked her with acid as she got off in Mumbai to begin a nursing career with the navy. He was arrested a year later.

The victim's father, Amar Singh Rathi, said the court verdict would help curb crimes against women.

"It took three years for us to get justice, but I am happy that it has been finally delivered," he said.

Public fury over the 2012 rape case led to new laws that doubled prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalised voyeurism and stalking.

But many women say daily indignities and abuse continue unabated and that the new laws have not made the streets safer.

AP

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