Police filed a charge sheet against three accused in the Kopardi gangrape and murder case, which had rocked the Maharashtra Assembly and triggered silent protests by the Maratha community across the state.
Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police Saurabh Tripathi filed the charge sheet before a sessions court in Ahmednagar district.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the charge sheet has come well before the statutory period of 90 days, which ends on October 11.
The charge sheet, which runs into over 350 pages was filed against Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailume under section 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and relevant sections of protection of children from sexual offenses act (POCSO).
The 15-year-old victim was raped on July 13 at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district, allegedly by the three men who inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling her.
The incident had sparked public outrage and political slugfest across the state with the Congress demanding Devendra Fadnavis’ resignation on “moral grounds” during the monsoon session of the State Assembly in July.
The chief minister had announced Rs 5 lakh financial help to the victim’s family and assured that the matter will be heard in a fast track court after the Opposition in both houses of the Legislature created a ruckus over the case.
It also triggered “silent” marches (muk morchas) by the Marathas across the state as the victim belongs to their community, while the culprits are Dalits.
More than 20 such rallies have already taken place across the state over the last one-and-a-half months. The final rally or the ‘maha morcha’ will be organised in Mumbai, and is likely to be held after Diwali.
Their main demands included filing of the charge sheet in time and speedy trial in a fast track court to ensure justice to the victim besides reservation for Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions.