Monday, February 12, 2018

Five rape cases in 24 hours in Pune


PUNE: At least five cases of sexual assault were registered in the city within 24 hours on Friday. While four cases were registered at Sanghvi police station, one was registered at Sahkarnagar police station.

In three of the four cases registered at Sanghvi, the survivors are minors. Of the two others, the women have pressed sexual assault charges against men who established physical relationships with them with fake promise of marriage.

In two of the cases with minor survivors, the involved men raped them under the fake promise of marriage. A man named Hari Rathod lured a 15-year-old girl into having a physical relationship with him. Rathod also physically abused her and threatened to kill her, according to the police. The girl’s parents had fixed her marriage with another man which was broken, according to the parents’ complaint. A case under Sections 376, 506(b), 504, 506 and 323 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 4, 8, 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), 2012 was registered against the suspect.

In a similar case, a man identified as Ganesh Maruti Mhaske approached a 17-year-old and her brother in August 2017 while they were alone at home. He then established physical relationship with her under the fake promise of marriage and made her consume a contraceptive pill, according to the complaint. A few days later, Mhaske took the teenager to a nearby lodge and sexually assaulted her, the police said. A case under 376, 376(i), 376(n) of IPC and Sections 3, 4, 6(l), 8 and 12 of POCSO was registered in the case.

Around 7-8 months ago, a man identified as Ajay lured a 14-year-old to a secluded spot near the riverbanks along Nashik Phata in order to “chat” and sexually assaulted her. The man then forcefully took her to his native place in Dholpur, Rajasthan and had his relatives, identified only as Lalsingh and Mausingh, have physical relationship with her against her will on multiple occasions. The 14-year-old was returned to her place after 15 days and is now pregnant. A case under Sections 376, 376(i), 376(n) along with Sections 3, 4, 6(l), 8 and 12 of POCSO, 2012 was registered at Sanghvi police station.

In another case, a 42-year-old woman lodged a complaint against a man identified as Santosh Mahale for having sexual intercourse with her with a fake promise of marriage since 2008. The man also took Rs 6,00,000 from her in order to buy farm land and allegedly stole a mobile phone worth Rs 50,000. A case under Sections 376, 42, 143, 147, 148 and 149 of IPC was registered at Sanghvi police station.

In the Sahkarnagar case, the man threatened to kill himself and his wife if the complainant refused to establish sexual relations with him, according to her complaint. The man was identified as Amol Devkar. The case was registered at Dattawadi police station and then transferred to Sahkarnagar, according to the police.

“There was another case of child sexual abuse at Warje a few days ago. Earlier, the vigilance committee members would meet with the police on a regular basis and discuss these problems. However, the involvement of police and local politicians in these meetings has gone down. Why are only women expected to take measures to curb such incidents? Why cannot the men make that effort?” said Neelam Gorhe, local politician and Shiv Sena leader, adding, “furthermore, this not only calls for a separate police commissionerate for Pimpri-Chinchwad but also increased appointment of Nirbhaya and Damini units.”

In 2017, the city had recorded a decreased, albeit with a thin margin, number of sexual assault cases. However, given that cases are being registered in retrospect, the statistics may not be representative of women’s safety in the city, Gorhe said.


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