Mumbai (The Hindu): Tempers flared at Talegaon near Trimbakeshwar in Nasik district, after a rumour of a five-year-old girl being raped by a teenager spread on social media on Saturday.
Villagers blocked the Mumbai-Nasik Highway and damaged buses at several places on Sunday.
Trimbakeshwar police-in-charge Mukund Deshmukh said the villagers gathered at the police station on Saturday night demanding arrest of the 16-year-old accused.
While the road blocks were held at Wadovhare, Ghoti and Anjaneri-phata, some protesters set tyres on fire. A group of people staged an agitation at Nashik Civil Hospital and demanded that the victim be examined by a lady doctor, said Mr. Deshmukh.
According to the rural control room, roads were blocked at Talwade village on Nashik-Trimbakeshwar road, Girnare village, and near Mohadi on the busy Mumbai-Agra National Highway. The police had to disperse the protesters and clear the roads.
Meanwhile, the boy has been booked under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the Guardian Minister of Nashik, visited Talegaon on Sunday afternoon. He assured the victim’s family that stern action will be taken against the culprit. “The girl has been examined at Nashik Civil Hospital by lady doctors, and it was clear that only an attempt of rape was made,” he told reporters.
Appeal for calm
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis issued a statement, appealing for calm. “Rumours are being spread after the incident, but we appeal to the people to not believe in them. The case will be taken up in a fast-track court.”
Special Inspector General of Police (Nashik range) Vinaykumar Choube also visited Talegaon on Sunday morning even as people threw stones at his car. Superintendent of Police (rural) Ankush Shinde is keeping a close watch on the situation. The city and the rural police have beefed up security to avoid any untoward incidents.
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