Rape, murder trigger political slugfest

Rape, murder trigger political slugfest

Rape, murder trigger political slugfest
The brutal sexual assault and ghastly murder of a minor girl in Ahmednagar district has snowballed into a major political issue. The Opposition Congress and the NCP combine is targeting the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the eve of the Monsoon session of the Maharashtra legislature.

Speaking to reporters here on Sunday, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (Congress) and his counterpart in the Council Dhananjay Munde of the NCP, displayed a photo of the accused, Santosh Bhavan, with Water Resources Minister Ram Shinde, who is also the Guardian Minister of Ahmednagar district.

However, later in the evening, Fadnavis produced another photo, that of the accused, which was different from the ones shown by the Vikhe-Patil and Munde. “The Opposition leaders should have cross-checked facts on such a sensitive issue,” Fadnavis told reporters at Sahyadri, the official guest house at Malabar Hill. He also said that the Opposition leaders must apologise to the minister.

On Wednesday evening, the victim, a ninth standard girl, was found mutilated under a tree in Kopardi in Karjat town. The incident took place when her mother sent her to her grandmother’s house to fetch masala.  When she did not return after a few hours, family members began looking for the girl and found her cycle. Later, they found the body of the victim in a farm. She was badly tortured and raped to death.

Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police Saurabh Tripathi is personally supervising the case. So far, three people have been arrested and efforts are on to track down the other accused.  On Sunday evening, Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar visited the town, however, he was given a cold shoulder. NCP women activists headed by Chitra Wagh tried to gheraoe Kesarkar.

“The incident reflects the law and order situation,” said Vikhe-Patil. “We wonder why there has been a delay of two days in arresting the accused,” added Munde. On its part, the Maharashtra Government assured to try the case in a fast-track court and ask Ujjwal Nikam to be the special public prosecutor.

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