WARNING: This report contains images of acid attack injuries some readers may find distressing. Discretion is advised.
Police are hunting a man after a young woman and her cousin had acid sprayed in their faces as they sat in their car.
Resham Khan, 21, and Jameel Mukhtar, 37, suffered serious burns after they were both doused in sulphuric acid as they waited in traffic in east London on 21 June.
Detectives are looking for John Tomlin, 24, who has distinctive tattoos on his face, who they would like to speak to in connection with the attack.
Tomlin is described as a white man, around 6ft tall of stocky build with short fair hair and he is known to frequent the Canning Town area. Members of the public are asked not to approach Tomlin if they see him, but to dial 999 immediately.
Mukhtar has criticised the police response to the incident, telling Channel 4 News: “I honestly feel that if this was a white person that got attacked by an Asian person, he’d be caught within 24 hours. It would be all over the news, there’d be a national man hunt.
“It’s definitely a hate crime. I believe it’s something to do with Islamophobia.”
Mukhtar was put into an induced coma after suffering first degree burns across his whole body and face.
Aspiring model Khan, whose birthday it was when they were attacked, suffered burns to her arms, legs, face and shoulder. She was temporarily blinded in her left eye and will need skin grafts.
Mukhtar added: “We’re innocent people. We didn’t deserve that.
“He just squirted this clear liquid all over us, which I thought was water until my cousin started to scream. I was watching her burning. Next thing you know, I’m burning.
“When I went to hospital they had to jet wash me to get the acid off. It was excruciating pain. I was screaming like a baby.”
Met Police Detective Superintendent Neil Matthews said: “I would like to reassure the public that our continued focus remains on finding the person responsible for this horrendous act of violence.
“We will continue to progress these enquiries as quickly as humanly possible and fully understand concerns that they should be brought to justice quickly.”