Difficult to prove involvement of arrested accused: Police

ACops blame lack of progress in the case on Rathis’ non-cooperation.

TWO days after police arrested Pawan Kumar Gahalon in connection with the acid attack on nursing graduate Preeti Rathi, they have been unable to gather any evidence to conclusively prove that he committed the crime. Police blame the lack of progress on Rathis' non-cooperation, with GRP Commissioner Prabhat Kumar claiming that they have been in 'denial mode' since the beginning.

Preeti's family members maintained that they neither saw Pawan on the day of the incident, nor were they aware of any marriage proposal he made to her.

Police are now examining CCTV footage to check if the physical description of Gahalon matches that of the assailant.

However, the only people who can conclusively identify Gahalon are either Preeti or her uncle Vinod Kumar Singh, who was with her at the time of the incident.

Police have also hit a roadblock regarding the motive behind the attack.

Police brought Gahalon from New Delhi after Rathi told them that she had seen him at the railway station in Delhi before boarding Garib Rath for Mumbai.

"We have tried asking the family for a possible motive since the day of the incident, but they have been in denial mode," said Kumar.

Kumar added that Satyam, the second person picked up in connection with the crime, remained a suspect though had not been arrested. So far, investigations have not pointed to anyone else's involvement, he added. Satyam is among Preeti's circle of friends but not known to her, said railway officials.

Meanwhile, Singh said Pawan was unknown to the family. "Preeti's father has denied any marriage proposal from Pawan as well. We are ready to cooperate with the police but Preeti has to recover fully first. How can she identify anyone when she has lost vision in one eye?" he said.

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