N.Y. college student burned in suspected acid attack criticizes police investigation

No one has been arrested in the March 17, 2021, attack on Nafiah Ikram. Numerous resources “continue to collaborate to bring the person responsible to justice,” police said.


A Hofstra University student who was badly burned in a suspected acid attack last year detailed the pain she still endures and questioned whether Long Island police are taking the investigation seriously.

“It’s been very physically painful, mentally exhausting. I was having nightmares up until this morning,” Nafiah Ikram said at a news conference Thursday. “It’s been very tiring.”

Ikram, who is Muslim, was walking into her Elmont home last March around 8:30 p.m. when a person ran up to her and threw a liquid in her face. The New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) said in a statement at the time that she was attacked with battery acid and suffered severe injuries to her face, eyes, neck and hands.

Ikram has spent the past year in and out of the hospital undergoing surgeries. She said Thursday that her recovery has been a struggle and she's lost vision in her right eye.

Nafiah Ikram, 22, has fought through a long and painful recovery that included surgery on her eye, nose and skin.NBC New York

She's scheduled to begin plastic surgery procedures in the next few months, she said.

"Everyone used to compliment me and say I'm so pretty. I'm so stunning. I never saw it until I lost it and I had to find a way to find beauty in myself," she told reporters.

Part of the March 17, 2021, attack was captured on surveillance video but no suspects have been publicly named and no arrests have been made.

Ikram's mother, Sherina Mohamed, questioned if detectives were doing everything they could to find her daughter's attacker.

"I can't believe that in the [21st] century, with all the high technology, with all that they're doing ... I don't know," she said. "Sometimes it feels like maybe the detectives maybe didn't take it seriously."

Ikram agreed, saying: "I'm sure that if the police asked around and did a better job ... they probably would had a better idea of what really went down."

The Nassau County Police Department did not answer questions about the investigation. Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said in a statement that the attack is still being investigated.

"The Nassau County police continue an intense and comprehensive investigation into the heinous act that took place one year ago when our victim, Nafiah Ikram, was assaulted with a hazardous substance," he said. "Numerous inter-agency resources have been assigned and continue to collaborate to bring the person responsible to justice.”

The Nassau County Crime Stoppers and the FBI are offering rewards totaling $40,000 for tips that could lead to an arrest.