Villagers to install memorial for rape victim at Kopardi | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Villagers to install memorial for rape victim at Kopardi

The rape and murder of 14-year-old girl had snowballed into a social conflict in Maharashtra.

pune Updated: Jul 03, 2017 23:58 IST
HT Correspondent
The victim belonged to the Maratha community while the three accused are Dalits.
The victim belonged to the Maratha community while the three accused are Dalits.(HT REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO)

Pune: The residents of Kopardi village in Karjat tehsil of Ahmednagar district have decided to construct a memorial for the 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered last year.  The memorial is expected to be completed by July 13, the first death anniversary of the girl. A spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj and some social organisations are part of the initiative. 

Sarvoday Parivar, a social organisation floated by Bhaiyyu, took the decision at a meeting held in Kopardi on Sunday. Sakal Maratha Samaj activists were also present. The memorial will come up at the site where the girl’s last rites were performed. The girl’s parents, who own the piece of land and were present at the meeting, have reportedly agreed to the idea. A temporary memorial will be set up, to be replaced by a permanent structure after the court verdict. 

The organisers have also decided to hold a rally to pay homage to the victim at Kopardi on July 13. Various Maratha organisations are expected to attend the rally.

The decision to install the memorial assumes significance as the Kopardi rape and murder case had snowballed into a social conflict in Maharashtra. The victim belonged to the Maratha community while the three accused are Dalits. After the incident, angry members of Maratha community had taken out massive protest marches, attended by representatives from various political parties, across the state. The protestors are demanding punishment to the accused in Kopardi case, abolition of atrocities act and reservation for Maratha community. Dalit organisations took out counter rallies. 

THE CRIME

A fourteen-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Kopardi village and her body was found on July 13, 2016. Three accused — Jitendra Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Bhailume — who are residents of the same village were nabbed after two days of the incident. The act was committed when the victim was returning home from her grandfather’s place in the evening. The victim’s body bore many injuries and the case is being heard in Ahmednagar district court.