Jalgaon, Aug 5 : Angry residents of Maharashtra’s Bhadgaon town observed a total ‘shutdown’ on Saturday to protest the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl by a youth on July 30, while the victim’s family has demanded capital punishment for the accused.
All shops, commercial establishments, eateries and educational institutions were closed to express solidarity with the victim’s family and seek justice for the minor who was brutally raped, killed and then dumped under a haystack in a barn.
On Thursday, the police arrested the 19-year-old accused, Swapnil V.Patil.
Hundreds had marched out in a protest procession on Friday.
On Saturday, the girl’s distraught mother demanded that “the accused should be given the death penalty” without any delay to ensure justice for their daughter.
“The accused has already been arrested and he has also confessed… Then what’s the problem… Ensure that he is punished immediately… Hang him,” she demanded talking to mediapersons.
Taking strong note of the incident, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday called up the victim’s family and consoled them while assuring that the culprit would not be spared.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed the Legislative Assembly that the accused arrested from Gondgaon village will be liable for stringent punishment.
According to the police, on July 30 afternoon, the girl was alone at her home in Bhadgaon when the accused lured her to a nearby shed reportedly owned by him.
Taking advantage of the situation, Swapnil allegedly forced himself upon her ignoring her cries, protests and threats to “inform her family”.
Panicking, he grabbed a stone nearby and smashed her at least twice on the face and head, and the profusely bleeding girl succumbed soon afterwards in the shed.
Swapnil then hid her body under a haystack there and fled from the scene, even as her family and neighbours launched a massive search for her, and later lodged a ‘missing’ complaint with Bhadgaon Police.
Few days later, locals complained of a stench emanating from the barn, and when they searched it, stumbled across the girl’s decomposing body there.
They summoned the police and later the victim’s parents identified her body.
In an immediate reaction, the family and other villagers staged a sit-in protest demanding arrest of the culprit.
Swinging into action, the police finally caught Swapnil on Thursday from his village.He has confessed to the heinous crime.
The police, local Crime Branch and forensic experts have launched investigations.
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