Even as the three accused in the July 13 Kopardi rape and murder case have been arrested, parents in the village have stopped sending their daughters to schools. There is tension in the village with a large number of police personnel and vehicles seen everywhere.
Kopardi does not have a high school, forcing boys and girls to walk four to five km every day for their education. Most of the students either walk down or hire local services while some parents drop their children near the school.
However, girls in the village have refused to go to school because of fear. Parents are also reluctant to send them as they are busy with their work in the farms. The nearest school is located near Kul Damm, which is an isolated road. As a result, attendance in the school has dropped ever since the incident came to light.
The vehicles and the visits of leaders from different organisations have made the villagers cautious. They are reluctant to speak to outsiders as they fear that any statement would further complicate the situation.
Schoolchildren from Kopardi took part in a procession in the morning as a mark of protest and to pay homage to the victim. Additional policemen were deployed in the village to avoid any untoward incident.
Police security near the house of suspects has angered the local residents. They complain that family members of the suspect were accorded police security. Police officials, however, maintain that it was a precautionary measure as any small incident can result in a major law and order problem.
Meanwhile, protests continue in parts of Ahmednagar district and few areas in Marathwada region. Latur observed total bandh on Tuesday. A group of youths burnt an MSRTC bus in Latur. The gang forced the passengers, driver and conductor to leave the vehicle, after which they set it on fire. Police have arrested 20 people. MSRTC stopped its services following the incident.
Incidents of bandh and sporadic violence were reported in Beed, Osmanabad and Ahmednagar. In Nashik, people took part in a silent rally and submitted a memorandum to the district collector.