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8-Month Pregnant Woman Raped in Maha, Women’s Panel Seeks Report

The woman was allegedly gang-raped by eight men in Sangli. Her husband was also beaten up by them.

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An anti-rape protest. Image used for representational purposes. 
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An eight-month pregnant woman from Satara was allegedly gang-raped by eight men in Sangli, following which Maharashtra's women's panel on Thursday, 2 August, took a serious note amid widespread condemnation and sought a report from the police, an official said.

The crime occurred around 6 am on 31 July when the 20-year-old woman, along with her hotelier husband, had gone to Turchi Phata in Tasgaon. An official of Tasgaon police station told IANS that both were looking for a couple to work for their hotel business.

One of the accused, Mukund Mane, had earlier called the hotelier to Turchi Phata, claiming a couple was ready to work for them and asked him to bring Rs 20,000 as advance payment. When they reached the spot, Mane and his accomplices pounced on the hotelier couple, assaulted them with pipes and sticks, took their cash as well as the woman’s gold ornaments.

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They then tied the husband, gagged and locked him inside his vehicle, and allegedly gang-raped the woman even as she pleaded with them to let her go due to her condition.

The attackers even threatened the couple about informing the police, claiming that "they were very influential and nobody will listen to the couple". Later, the couple registered a complaint at Tasgaon police station, with the woman naming four accused as Mane, Sagar, Javed Khan and Vinod in the FIR.

Nearly 48 hours after the incident, the police was yet to make any arrests but said that teams are out to trace the accused.

Maharashtra State Commission for Women chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar wrote to the Sangli superintendent of police to personally look into the case and submit a detailed report on the case status.

‘A Blot on Humanity’

Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chitra Wagh termed the crime as "a blot on humanity" and demanded to know from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as to when such heinous crimes against women in the state would be curbed.

Shiv Sena's senior leader Neelam Gorhe also strongly condemned the crime and urged Fadnavis to direct officials concerned to arrest the culprits and punish them.

She said that the woman and her family were under pressure to withdraw the police complaint, and appealed to the police to transfer the case from Sangli to Satara district to ensure impartial investigation.

Gorhe also urged the media to exercise restraint and not disclose the woman's village and sub-district in view of the sensitivities involved.

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