In a shocking incident, a 3-year-old girl from Pen in Raigad district was allegedly raped and murdered by a 35-year-old criminal, who was recently released from prison on parole.
The incident led to an uproar in Pen and surrounding tribal areas which observed a spontaneous shutdown and locals took out a protest mark to the Pen Police Station demanding the most stringent punishment for the accused.
According to reports, the incident took place around 11 pm on Tuesday when the victim and her parents were sleeping outside their dwelling in the Adivasi pada Vadgaon area of Pen. The accused Adesh Madhukar Patil, who was passing by the area, saw the victim and quietly picked her up and ran away. Patil then allegedly raped and killed the victim.
A couple of hours later, the parents - who work as labourers - suddenly woke up to discover the child was missing and started a search for her, around 3 am on Wednesday.
Later, the accused was spotted by the victim's grandmother when he was dumping the minor girl’s body. The grandmother raised an alarm but Patil managed to flee the spot, reported Times Now. The brutalised girl was rushed to a government hospital but declared dead on arrival.
Later, Pen police launched a manhunt and the accused was picked up from his hideout. "Police teams went on a search for him and finally picked him up from his hideout this morning. He was brought to the police station and placed under arrest this evening. He will be produced before a magistrate court tomorrow," Pawar told IANS.
Patil, belonging to the Gagode village nearby, had been convicted in a rape case a few years ago and was undergoing his punishment at Alibaug Jail. He was granted parole recently, but outside he committed three serious crimes of kidnapping, rape, and murder, which could attract capital punishment.