At least eight to ten Dalit families have left Talegaon village in Nashik after a five-year-old girl was allegedly sexually abused by a Dalit teenager, triggering violent protests in the area. One of these families is that of the accused. “Hours after the incident, a mob vandalised the boy’s home. His family fled that night. Once news of protests spread, the other families left Sunday,” said a policeman on duty in Talegaon. The boy’s mother, a labourer, has reportedly told police that if her son is guilty, he should be awarded stringent punishment.
“The boy is a Class X student. Before leaving home Saturday, he said he was going to school. His mother left for work thereafter. In the evening, some villagers informed her that he was beaten up and taken to police station. Later, she learnt that he tried to rape a minor,” an official from Trimbakeshwar police station, where the case has been registered, said.
“The men in the Dalit families have been visiting to check if their homes have been vandalised,” Rohini, a villager, said. Marathas are a majority in Talegaon, which is populated by nearly 600 families. Dalit households are located in the village’s Rajwada area.
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Doctors have reportedly found ‘semen patches’ on the boy’s pants. “Clothes of the boy and the victim have been sent for tests. We have asked the forensic laboratory to conduct an analysis of the blood and urine samples of the girl. Her vaginal swabs have also been sent for tests,” an official said.
The girl, admitted to Nashik Civil Hospital, has reportedly provided a detailed account of the incident. According to a senior official, the girl had said that she was playing with her elder sister when the accused came to them and offered chocolates. The accused allegedly hit her sister with a stick and then gave her money, following which she left. The accused then took the victim to an abandoned building and allegedly abused her, said the official.
The official said the victim’s sister has given a similar account. According to her statement, the accused gave her five rupees to buy a popsicle. On returning, she saw the accused allegedly trying to abuse her sister, the official said.
Forces have been deployed in the area. Mobile Internet services have been suspended and sections of CrPC, which prohibit gathering of five or more people, have been invoked.