Indian Man Sentenced to Death for Killing a Woman With Acid


An Indian court on Thursday sentenced a man to death 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.

Prosecutors said a Mumbai court sentenced Ankur Panwar after finding him guilty of killing Preeti Rathi, 23. She died of serious burn injuries 30 days after the attack, which severely damaged her lungs, vocal cords and eyesight.

They said 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.

Amar Singh Rathi, the victim’s father, 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.


  • BillyHW

    Acid seems to be the murder weapon of choice in south Asia. Is it something you can buy on every street corner there?

    • AlanUK

      I can’t answer for India but sulphuric acid is such a universally available chemical that I cannot imagine it being difficult to get hold of.
      (Sulfuric acid is a mega tonnage material with the highest output of any industrial chemical.)
      For background info, sulfuric acid is manufactured in a range of concentrations which have different properties. See next post:

      • AlanUK

        “Battery acid” so called because it is used as the electrolyte of lead-acid car batteries. Strong but not concentrated. Corrosive but not as bad as the next two.

        “Concentrated sulfuric acid”. Close to 100% H2SO4. Reacts with organic materials (including human flesh, eyes etc. by removing water from the chemical structure and leaving carbon. Nasty. Dilute with lots of water immediately.

        “Oleum or Oil of Vitriol” H2S2O7. Super nasty!! Decades ago there was a road traffic accident involving a tanker of oleum. Someone walked through the spillage and was never seen again. He passed out with the fumes, fell, and his body was destroyed.

  • AlanUK

    If you want to know about sulphuric acid (and many other chemicals and elements) then explore the Periodic Videos site of the University of Nottingham
    Added bonus – narrated by a truly wonderful “nutty professor” …