Updated: August 6, 2021 8:24:17 pm
MAHARASHTRA BJP vice-president Chitra Wagh on Friday slammed the Nagpur Police for their failure to prevent the attack on a minor girl, who was gangraped twice by two different groups of men on the night of July 29.
The 16-year-old girl had left her home after an argument with her parents. She had taken an auto-rickshaw, which took her to Manas Chowk near the railway station. On noticing that she was in a disturbed state, the auto-rickshaw driver and his accomplice handed her over to two other men, who took her to a house belonging to a railway coolie, where the two men and two others raped her.
The accused later brought her to Mayo Square and left her there. She was then picked up by two other men in an auto-rickshaw, who also raped her inside the auto before dropping her at a railway station and giving her Rs 1,000 to buy a ticket for Nashik.
The police have detained four of the six accused and are looking for the two absconding ones.
Wagh, who addressed mediapersons in Nagpur on Friday, accused the city police of not keeping vigil at prominent city squares despite being equipped with CCTV surveillance facilities. “It is a matter of shame that such a terrible incident of two gangrapes occurred to a girl in one night. How is it that the police didn’t notice what was going on at the prominent squares on their CCTV screens,” asked the BJP leader.
Wagh also met the girl, who is currently in a correction home, as well as Nagpur Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar. “I posed a few questions to the CP about the gangrape incident, seeking justice for the girl,” said Wagh.
An inspector from the police station where the gangrape case has been filed told The Indian Express, “The girl was spotted by the station master at the railway station… he alerted the railway police. As she didn’t reveal anything to the railway police, they called a childline volunteer, who took her to the correction home, where she narrated the incident to the warden. The matter then came to us and we managed to catch hold of four persons by using CCTV footage and our intelligence. We are looking for two more accused.”
One more person, who had molested the girl at Manas Chowk, has also been rounded up.
Asked why the parents haven’t sought custody of the girl, the police officer said, “They are labourers and are not willing to take her back, saying they are unable to deal with her. Previously, in 2019, she had left home to reach Manmad, where one person had raped her for two days. After returning to Nagpur, she was kept in a correction home for six months before being handed over to her parents. The girl doesn’t appear to be in a normal state of mind.”
On how the police missed the activity at the two squares on their CCTV screens, he said, “We notice the events when there is some kind of commotion or abnormality. In this case, possibly, no such suspicious activity could be made out.”
Wagh also raised the issue of the alleged beating up of 37-year old Mahesh Raut by two policemen a couple of days ago. Raut later died by suicide as he felt insulted by the public beating, according to his family members.
“Raut was moved by the plight of a mentally challenged person being assaulted and had called up the police. But the police came and beat him up… despite showing such insensitivity towards a gentle person, the two policemen haven’t yet been penalised and no offence has been registered. So, I have demanded dismissal of the two policemen,” said Wagh.
The BJP leader also raised the issue of Ankita Pisudde, a young teacher from Hinganghat in Wardha district, who was set ablaze by an acquaintance last year. “Her parents were assured of early justice in a fast-track court but almost a year on, justice continues to elude the victim. Her father had called me saying he was promised early disposal of the case, but he was disillusioned by the tardy progress of the case (in a Wardha court),” said Wagh.
Raising the issue of the taped conversation in the suicide case of Pune resident Pooja Chavan, Wagh said, “It has now been confirmed that the voice of the man in the conversation is that of former minister Sanjay Rathod. This was known to the Pune Police two months earlier. So, why was action not taken then?”
She alleged that there was a rise in cases of sexual exploitation of women in the state and several such complaints were being received from different places. She also pointed out instances of sexual exploitation of policewomen by senior policemen. “I am not saying that such things are happening only during this government’s time. They happen all the time. I am also not saying the police in general are bad. I am proud of the police force. But there are a handful of them who do such things. It is the government’s response that is important. Lack of it only emboldens the criminals,” said Wagh.
When pointed out that Nagpur had witnessed a spree of murders when Devendra Fadnavis was the chief minister, and some of the crimes had taken place in close vicinity of his residence in the city, Wagh, who was in the NCP then, said, “I had raised the issue even during that time. I am not concerned about the government of the day. Let it be any party’s government. My commitment is to the people who suffer. Tomorrow, if the Fadnavis government comes back to power, and such things happen again, I will raise these issues even then.”
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