Maharashtra CM: Sakinaka rape, murder case to be tried in fast-track court

Over the Sakinaka rape case, BJP slams Maharashtra govt over delay in enacting Shakti law, appointment of women’s commission chairperson
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said that the state will ensure that the perpetrator in the Sakinaka rape, murder case gets the strictest punishment. (HT File)
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said that the state will ensure that the perpetrator in the Sakinaka rape, murder case gets the strictest punishment. (HT File)
Updated on Sep 12, 2021 12:20 AM IST
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By Surendra Gangan

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has attacked the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government over the death of the Sakinaka rape and murder victim, chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray has announced that the case will be tried in a fast-track court.

“This is a blot on humanity. I have asked home minister Dilip Walse Patil and Mumbai Police commissioner Hemant Nagrale to expedite the probe,” the CM said. He added that the state will ensure that the perpetrator gets the strictest punishment.

Thackeray held a high-level meeting with police and home department officials on Saturday evening over the incident. He has directed the home department to appoint a special public prosecutor and file the charge sheet in one month. “The department should build a strong case by collecting forensic and electronic proofs related to the case without leaving any weak link behind. The charge sheet should be filed in one month to ensure that the justice is ensured in stipulated time,” he said.

The CM has also directed the police to identify hotspots that are potential threats to women and beef up patrolling at these spots by appointing Nirbhaya squads in each of the police stations as well as ramp up the CCTV networks in the city.

“CCTV network plays an important role in investigations of such cases. The home department should take steps to install cameras in rest of the areas in the city. The police should keep a close watch on history sheeters with a background in such cases. They must constitute a Nirbhaya squad with lady police constables in each of the police stations. The squads should keep 24X7 vigilance at spots with potential activities of crimes against women. Patrolling at spots with high footfall of women should be increased after identifying such spots,” CM directed the officials.

Thackeray said steps should be taken to maintain the identity of Mumbai as a safe city.

Meanwhile, stating that the law-and-order situation has paralysed, the BJP has questioned the delay in the enactment of the proposed Shakti law and the appointment of the chairperson for women’s commission. Leader of Opposition and former CM Devendra Fadnavis has attacked the government and said cases of rapes and gang rapes have increased in the state over the past one month. He said the government should think over it seriously. “CM should speak to the chief justice of Bombay high court for the designated fast-track court to try the case. The perpetrator should be hanged at the earliest,” he said.

Fadnavis added that there is unrest among top-level police officers owing to the “out-of-turn appointments” of a few officers by political bosses. “A few Indian Police Service (IPS) officers spoke to me over the recent reshuffle in the force, in which junior officers were being appointed to key posts by downgrading the posts to accommodate them. This has created unrest among the officers who have been left out. It [Mumbai Police] is a disciplined force and such type of indiscipline gives anti-social elements a reason to take undue advantage,” he said.

BJP vice-president Chitra Wagh has criticised the state government for its failure to appoint the chairperson to head the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) and enacting the Shakti Act. “The government will soon complete two years in the office, but it has not been able to appoint a person to head MSCW. The ministers in the government start politicising the issue by raising questions over Delhi and Hathras cases. They should first look at the state of law and order in Maharashtra. The government hasn’t been able to enact the Shakti law that proposed stricter punishment in atrocities against women,” she said.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021