Maratha Protests Turn Violent in Nashik Following Rape of a Minor
Maratha protesters lost their patience when another incident of an attempted rape came to light near Trimbakeshwar in Nashik district.
A 16-year-old boy from Dalit community attempted to rape a 5-year-old girl from Maratha community yesterday in the evening. Nashik has been tense after three police vehicles were torched by protesters near Mumbai-Agra highway. The highway has been blocked by the protesters since last night.
The incident happened at Talegaon village and which became the site of the protest. As the news spread through social media, protests were staged at various places in Nashik district including the Mumbai-Agra highway. Protesters ransacked the house of the minor accused, who is now in police custody. He’s been booked under IPC 376 (rape) and relevant sections of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
Members of Maratha community, which is 32 per cent of the state population, have been protesting for a couple of months against misuse of Dalit Atrocities Act and for reservation in education and government jobs. Protests started after a minor girl at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district was brutally gangraped in July this year.Dozens of mammoth rallies followed, but they were peaceful.
Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan rushed to Civil Hospital, where the minor victim is undergoing treatment. He then went to talk to the protesters. Mahajan’s remark that there was no rape and an “attempt to rape” irked angry protesters, who thought that the government was trying to play down the incident.
Nashik Tense After Voilence
A mob of around 2,000 torched three vehicles of police, a state-run bus was pelted with stones. Police had resort to lathicharge and later two rounds of bullets were fired in the air.
The Nashik police said that the situation is tense, but under control. Chief Minsiter Devendra Fadnavis has assured speedy justice to the victim.
But protesters seem to be in no mood to listen to him.
Meanwhile, thousands are stranded on Mumbai-Agra and various other highways passing through Nashik.
Local media is playing down happenings in Nashik on request made by the district administration, but social media is spreading news, mixed with rumours, like wildfire.
Security has been beefed up in and around Nashik district.
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