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The Mulund police have arrested a 25-year-old man for allegedly throwing acid on a 22-year-old married woman while she was travelling in an autorickshaw to Mulund station on Saturday night. The victim is recuperating at Sion hospital and her condition is said to be stable. She suffered burns on her face, hands and legs.

According to the police, accused Dipak Gaikwad followed the victim's auto, attacked her when the auto stopped at a traffic signal on NS Road in Mulund (west), 200 metres away from the Mulund police station, and then fled.

The police arrested Gaikwad at his Kalyan residence a few hours later. Gaikwad allegedly attacked victim Rani Shaikh after she rejected his demand to leave her husband and marry him. "Shaikh, in her statement, said that a few months ago, Gaikwad had threatened her with dire consequences and warned her that he will disfigure her," an investigator said.

Around 7.45 pm on Saturday, Shaikh left her workplace and took an autorickshaw to Mulund station to travel to her Kalwa residence. "Around 8.50 pm, when the victim's auto stopped at the junction on NS Road, Gaikwad attacked her with acid and fled. "Gaikwad committed the offence after the victim rejected his proposal, despite knowing that she is married and has a three-year-old daughter," deputy commissioner of police (zone VII) Sanjay Shintre said.

During the probe, investigators came to know that Shaikh and Gaikwad are employed in separate units at Shanti Industrial Estate in Mulund (west). Shaikh, in her complaint, said, "I stepped out of the auto on feeling a burning sensation on my face after Gaikwad threw some watery liquid at me. I went to a roadside fast food corner and washed the affected portion. Meanwhile, the auto-driver also disappeared."

With the help of locals, Shaikh managed to reach the police station and lodged a complaint against Gaikwad. She was immediately admitted at the Mulund General Hospital and her husband Sartaj Shaikh was informed about the incident.

"For the last one year, my wife had been complaining that Gaikwad was repeatedly harassing her and use to follow her to our house at Kalwa. Two months ago, I got hold of Gaikwad and thrashed him and later let him go after a warning. However, he continued his act," Sartaj said in the complaint. Gaikwad has been booked under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC.

7.45 pm: Rani Shaikh (22) signed off duty and took an
auto to go to Mulund station. Gaikwad followed her

8.45 pm: When the victim's auto stopped at a four-road signal junction, Gaikwad threw acid on her face and fled. Shaikh then got out of the auto and washed her face and body with water

9 pm: Some pedestrians took her to the police station and lodged a complaint. Shaikh was then rushed to the hospital

10.45 pm: Gaikwad was arrested at his Kalyan residence.


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