PUNE: Politicians played blame game while the exasperated parents of the Kopradi rape victim demanded justice for their daughter on Thursday, a year after she was murdered.
The opposition parties in the state organized demonstrations and silent marches on Thursday blaming the BJP-led state government for delaying justice to the girl. The BJP leaders, on the other hand, blamed the Opposition for politicizing the tragedy.
Three persons raped the 15-year-old girl at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar on July 13 last year. The trio inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling her. The incident rocked the state, prompting massive silent Maratha marches.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and MP Supriya Sule led a silent march at Pune district collector’s office. Firing salvo at chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, she said, “The chief minister must be facing workload. We all have the responsibility of protection of girls, but the chief minister is more responsible as a guardian. If he is burdened with work, he must give away the home ministry portfolio to someone else.”
Former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar led a march in Jalgoan. The other leaders demonstrated in district headquarters.
The Congress leaders denounced the delay in justice to the rape victim and blamed the state government.
Amid the scathing attacks, the state BJP leaders maintained that the probe was going on and the Opposition should not politicize the issue.
In Kopardi, thousands conglomerated to pay respect to the deceased. Spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj, along with other organizations, has put up a memorial in Kopardi. Sambhaji brigade opposed the memorial, saying it was a mockery of the deceased girl. But the family members of the girl claimed that the structure erected in the village was a Samadhi and not a memorial.
Maratha organizations issued a warning to the state government that the community would launch another series of agitations if the accused in the case were not hanged. The case is going on in Ahmednagar district and sessions court.
Kopardi rape and murder case had turned into a major flashpoint in the state politics with Maratha organizations forcing political parties to take stand on the “misuse” of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Castes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) and Maratha reservation with massive show of strength.