A teenage boy allegedly tried to rape a five-year-old girl near Trimbakeshwar in Nashik, leading to large-scale protests and tension in the district. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed for calm and assured that the case would be tried in a fast-track court.
The 16-year-old boy, who has been taken into custody, allegedly tried to rape the minor girl at Talegaon village near Trimbakeshwar in the district on Saturday, Nashik superintendent of police Ankush Shinde said on Sunday.
A case has been registered against the boy under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he said.
As soon as the news spread, tension gripped Talegoan and locals gathered at the police station on Saturday night, demanding that the boy be booked and arrested.
The villagers staged ‘rasta roko’ in Wadovhare, Ghoti and Anjaneri-phata areas. Some people set tyres on fire, and also damaged a tractor in Talegaon. A group of people also protested at the Nashik Civil Hospital and demanded that the victim be examined by a woman doctor.
The enraged crowd also gathered at several places on Sunday morning and damaged three police vehicles, including the car of special inspector general, Nashik Range, Vinaykumar Choube, who was on his way to Talegaon.
Police had to use teargas shells and fire some rounds in the air at Talegaon to disperse the mob, a rural control room official said.
People also staged ‘rasta roko’ on Nashik-Igatpuri road, Nashik-Aurangabad road and Mumbai-Agra National Highway on Sunday where extra police force was later deployed and the routes cleared.
Some angry people observed a bandh at Ojhar town in the district.
Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the guardian minister of Nashik, visited the girl’s family and termed the incident as “unfortunate”. He said a rape attempt was made on her by the boy and said the case would be fast-tracked.
Mahajan assured that charges will be framed in the case within a fortnight and it will be heard in a fast track court. Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam will be appointed as prosecutor in the case, he said.
No senior doctor or the civil surgeon of Nashik Civil Hospital was available for comment on the issue.
The SP urged people to remain calm and not to believe rumours being circulated on social media regarding the incident. He said police will take stern action against the guilty.
“The incident involving rape attempt on a minor girl in Talegaon is very unfortunate. The accused has been arrested and the victim is in fine health. The Guardian Minister of the region Girish Mahajan has met the family of the victim,” Fadnavis said in a statement issued here.
“We will ensure that the accused gets a strict of punishment and that this case is tried in a fast track court,” he said.
He also asked people not believe the rumours circulating post the incident.
“I appeal to the people not believe in these rumours, stay calm, abide by rules and regulations and help us maintain law and order,” Fadnavis said.