In a shocking incident, a rape convict out on parole kidnapped, raped and murdered a 3-year-old minor tribal girl in the Pen town, police said here on Wednesday.
The incident led to an uproar in Pen and surrounding tribal areas which observed a spontaneous shutdown and locals took out a protest mark to the Pen Police Station demanding the most stringent punishment for the accused.
Rattled by the developments senior police officials rushed to Pen while Nationalist Congress Party’s Minister of State for Industry Aditi Tatkare took stock of the situation. This evening, Tatkare, who hails from Raigad, said that the case will be transferred to a fast track court to ensure justice for the victim and her family.
According to Pen Police Station official K. P. Pawar, around 11 pm on Tuesday, the accused Adesh Madhukar Patil, 32, was passing by the small tribal hamlet in Vadgaon, on the outskirts of the town. There he saw the minor girl and her parents sleeping outside their dwelling and he quietly picked her up and ran away.
Around a couple of hours later, the parents – who work as labourers – suddenly woke up to discover the child was missing and started a search for her, around 3 am on Wednesday. A short distance away, the search party saw Patil attempting to dispose of the victim’s body and they gave a chase, but he managed to escape their clutches.
The brutalised girl was rushed to a government hospital but declared dead on arrival and an autopsy later revealed rape and murder, said Pawar.
“Police teams went on a search for him and finally picked him up from his hideout this morning. He was brought to the police station and placed under arrest this evening. He will be produced before a magistrate court tomorrow,” Pawar told IANS.
Patil, belonging to the Gagode village nearby, had been convicted in a rape case a few years ago and was undergoing his punishment at Alibaug Jail.
He was granted parole recently, but outside he committed three serious crimes of kidnapping, rape and murder, which could attract the capital punishment, even as Pen residents have announced another shutdown and procession on Thursday.
This is not the first time a rape or sexual assault convict has been released who has then gone on to re-commit a similar crime. It shows up a serious lacuna in our justice delivery system which often prioritises the rights of convicted criminals over the safety of law-abiding citizens, and which has still not ensured a mechanism to track & monitor criminals out on parole.
(With IANS inputs)
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