The frequency with which rapes have occurred in Maharashtra in the past few weeks raises several questions with regards to the law and order situation and safety of women in the state under the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government. Hardly had the citizens recovered from the shock of the Pune rape horror story than reports of three more instances of rape from the state have come to light.
Amravati rape victim’s suicide
A minor teen belonging to Amravati district’s Yeoda police jurisdiction committed suicide in the seventh month of her pregnancy. As per reports, the 17-year-old was raped by a youth belonging to the same village, and subsequently, she became pregnant. She recently hung herself to death. The incident came to light when the victim’s father lodged a complaint in the matter following his daughter’s death.
ABP Majha states that the crime is reported to have taken place between January and August this year. The teen received a shock when she came to know that she was seven months pregnant and she took the extreme step on 29 August. The Yeoda police had registered a case of accidental death on 29 August and began their investigations.
In the meanwhile, the victim’s father lodged a complaint alleging the involvement of a youth residing in the same village. The complaint blames the youth for the rape, pregnancy, and subsequent suicide of the teen. Taking the complaint into consideration, the Yeoda police booked the accused under relevant sections of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act along with charges under IPC for rape and abetment to suicide. Yeoda station in-charge Amul Bachhav informed the media that the accused has been taken into custody.
Minor raped in Ulhasnagar railway station
In yet another shocking instance, a 35-year-old has been accused of raping a 14-year-old minor teen in Ulhasnagar. On Friday night, the teen was travelling on a Mumbai local from Kalyan to Ulhasnagar where the three got off at around 9. She was returning to Ulhasnagar, where she stays with her grandmother, from Shirdi after visiting her mother.
The teen was allegedly kidnapped from the skywalk even as her friends were threatened with a hammer by the accused asking the two to leave the spot. The victim was then taken by force to the nearby railway staff quarters that is now deserted where the accused is said to have raped her. The accused is also alleged to have assaulted her physically as she resisted his rape attempt.
The teen was kept at the spot until Saturday morning when she called her friend to narrate the entire sequence of events. The victim is said to have received head injuries for which she is currently receiving treatment at a Ulhasnagar hospital.
The accused identified as Shrikant Gaikwad has been arrested by Kalyan’s Lohmarg Police on Saturday who have charged under relevant sections of the IPC as well as the POCSO Act. “Forensics team has collected evidence and further probe is underway. There are a number of cases registered against the accused in Thane. An investigation team has have been constituted to be lead by a Police Inspector level woman officer”, Railway Police Commisioner Quaiser Khalid informed the media.
Sakinaka rape victim dies
In a brutal reminder of the Delhi Nirbhaya rape case, a 32-year-old woman was raped and tortured in a stationary tempo in Mumbai’s Sakinaka area. A police team reached the spot after the control room received an emergency call at 3.30 in the morning on Friday. The team found the woman in a pool of blood at Khairani road and was immediately rushed to the Rajawadi hospital for treatment.
CCTV visuals show a man standing next to what appears to be a body lying on the ground. Reports state that preliminary police inquiries revealed blood stains inside the tempo parked by the roadside. As per PTI report, 45-year-old Mohan Chouhan has been taken into custody for the crime. He has been charged for rape and murder (initially he was booked under attempt to murder charges which was revised after the victim’s death).
Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the case. The accused was produced in court and has been sent to police custody till 21 September.
In the meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) teams visited the woman’s family on Sunday. NCW has recommended monetary compensation for the victim’s two daughters in addition to getting them relocated to an entirely new environment and sponsoring their education. NCSC has requested the state government to provide accommodation and a government job to the family.
The surge in rape cases are a matter of grave concern even as women leaders of the ruling coalition such as Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi and NCP’s Supriya Sule have maintained a convenient silence. The MVA government needs to be held accountable for the rising crimegraph against women in the state.
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