Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar came down heavily on the state government and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the recent rise in rape cases, saying no home in the state was safe. Pawar said the recent rape cases have exposed the absence of law and order in the state.
Pawar who visited Osmanabad on Sunday, avoided meeting a 16-year old rape victim or her parents to ensure that her identity was kept secret. Instead, he met the district collector and superintendent of police. The minor girl was allegedly raped by a police sub-inspector at gun point on Saturday.
Talking to reporters, the former CM of the state said that they have demanded that the case be fast tracked by appointing a special public prosecutor. He said the investigation should be done by a senior woman IPS officer.
He lashed out at chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also heads the home portfolio, holding him responsible for failing to maintain law and order in the state. “We need a person who is capable of handling the home department,” Pawar said questioning Fadnavis’ capability. “The existing laws are strong enough to tackle such situations, but our system has lost its fear,” he opined.
“No home is safe when protector becomes perpetrator. Rape and crimes rose under the nose of Home Ministry. A policeman has committed a heinous crime in Osmanabad . It shows a complete absence of law and order in the state,” Pawar tweeted later.
Spurt in rape cases
Maharashtra is experiencing a sudden rise in rape cases and Mumbai is no exception. On July 14, a minor was brutally raped and murdered by a gang of three in Kopardi in Ahmednagar, resulting in public outrage.
In another incident, a 12-year-old girl, trying to escape ill-treatment by her stepmother, was raped at CST station.
The same day, the police arrested three accused in Vasai for raping a 14-year-old between June 8 and 9. The girl hails from Solapur district.
On June 16, a three-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a 42-year-old man at Gautam Nagar near Aarey colony in Mumbai.