April 26, 2018 4:05:14 am
In a fresh development related to the ‘suicide’ of Puja Sakat, the 19-year-old Dalit girl from Koregaon Bhima whose body was found in a well near her residence on Sunday, Suresh Sakat, the girl’s father, has been booked by Pune Rural Police on charges of ‘intentional insult’ and ‘criminal intimidation’, on the basis of a complaint by a woman, who is related to some of the persons accused of abetting the girl’s suicide.
Police had arrested two persons — the Sakat family’s former neighbours Vilas Vedpathak and his son Ganesh Vedpathak — for abetment of suicide and booked seven others — Navnath Darekar, Somnath Darekar, Vilas Darekar, Sudhir Dhamdhere, Subhash Dhavate, Goraksh Thorat and Ganesh Thorat — in the case.
The police said a woman, who is a relative of the Darekars who have been booked, has alleged in her complaint that Suresh Sakat had ‘verbally abused’ her. “As per the woman’s complaint, the incident took place on Wednesday afternoon in Koregaon Bhima village around 3.30 pm,” said an officer from Pune Rural Police. “It is a non-cognisable offence.”
“Suresh Sakat had gone to the market area in the afternoon. At the time, he had arguments with some people, including members of the Darekar family. Sakat has not yet approached us with any complaint regarding this argument. We are taking necessary action,” said the officer.
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Puja, who had witnessed her house being burnt down on January 2, a day after the celebrations to mark 200th year of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima, had gone missing from her house on Saturday. Her body was recovered from a nearby well on Sunday morning.
Suresh Sakat had blamed the Vedpathaks and the others booked by police for his daughter’s death. He had claimed that Puja was ‘disturbed’ and ‘under depression’ ever since their house had been burned down, and that she was preparing to give a statement in court against those responsible for the incident.
Meanwhile, police Wednesday took custody of Vilas and Ganesh Vedpathak in the case of burning down of Sakat’s house on January 2. “The two were not named in the case earlier (in the original complaint filed on January 2 by Puja and her brother), but were named by Sakat family in the supplementary statements they had recorded on April 11,” said a police officer.
Puja’s death was earlier being linked to the violent clashes that were witnessed in the area on January 1, but her family as well as police categorically said on Tuesday that she was not a witness in any of the cases related to those clashes. Suresh Sakat blamed the death on the family’s former neighbours, with whom they had had a “land dispute”.
He had also maintained that the burning down of their house was not related to the January 1 violence. “If it had anything to do with the Bhima Koregaon violence, my house would have been burnt down on January 1, when there were riots. This took place on January 2, when there were prohibitory orders in place. A big mob came to my house and burnt it down,” Suresh Sakat had said.
A senior police officer had also said that Puja’s statement had not been recorded at any point in any of the cases related to the Bhima Koregaon violence.
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