A teenage boy allegedly tried to rape a five-year-old Maratha girl near Trimbakeshwar in Nashik which led to large scale protests and tension in the district. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis appealed for calm and assured that the case would be tried in a fast track court.
Schools and other educational institutes remained shut on Monday as well but the situation has largely returned to normal.
The 16-year-old boy, who has been taken into custody, allegedly tried to rape the minor girl at Talegaon village near Trimbakeshwar in the district yesterday, Nashik Superintendent of Police Ankush Shinde said on Sunday.
An offence has been registered against the boy under relevant sections of the IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he said.
Nashik (Maha): Villagers torch vehicle,vandalise a police van in protest after a minor was allegedly raped by a teenage boy in Trimbakeshwar pic.twitter.com/K3daf389m8— ANI (@ANI_news) October 9, 2016
As soon as the news spread, tension gripped Talegaon as locals gathered at the police station in the night demanding that the boy be booked and arrested.
Some people set tyres on fire, and also damaged a tractor in Talegaon. A group of people also protested at Nashik Civil Hospital last night and demanded that the victim be examined by a woman doctor.
Enraged people gathered at several places on Sunday morning and damaged three police vehicles, including the car of Special IG (Nashik Range) Vinaykumar Choube, when he was headed to Talegaon.
The police had to lob teargas shells and also fire some rounds in the air at Talegaon to disperse the mob, a police official said.
Maharashtra: Schools & colleges remain closed in Nashik as tension escalates in the area after a minor was allegedly raped by a teenager. pic.twitter.com/nvPMZd71mH— ANI (@ANI_news) October 10, 2016
People also staged 'rasta roko' on Nashik-Igatpuri road, Nashik-Aurangabad road and Mumbai-Agra National Highway where later extra police force was deployed and the routes cleared.
Some angry people also observed a bandh at Ojhar town in the district against the incident.
Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the Guardian Minister of Nashik, visited the girl's family and termed the incident as "unfortunate". He said that the boy had attempted to rape her and that the case would be fast-tracked.
Mahajan promised that charges will be framed in the case within a fortnight and it will be heard in a fast track court. Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam will be appointed as prosecutor in the case, he said.
No senior doctor or civil surgeon of Nashik Civil Hospital were available for comments on the issue. Internet services were reportedly shut to prevent the spread of rumours.
Chief Minister Fadnavis appealed people to stay calm and said the case would be tried in a fast track court.
"The incident involving rape attempt on a minor girl in Talegaon is very unfortunate. The accused has been arrested and the victim is in fine health. The Guardian Minister of the region Girish Mahajan has met the family of the victim," Fadnavis said in a statement.
"We will ensure that the accused gets a strict of punishment and that this case is tried in a fast track court," he said.
He also asked people not believe the rumours circulating post the incident.
"I appeal to the people not believe in these rumours, stay calm, abide by rules and regulations and help us maintain law and order," Fadnavis said.
With PTI inputs