In a shocking incident, a 14-year-old standard IX girl student from Taldulwadi village in Baramati taluka, who had set herself ablaze after being allegedly raped by a history sheeter, succumbed to her injuries at Sassoon hospital in the wee hours of Friday.
The police said that the girl had taken the drastic step as the rapist threatened her of dire consequences if she revealed the incident to anyone.
The culprit, who has been identified as Suresh Kenjale, has been on the run for 11 days as neither the Local Crime Branch (LCB) nor the Baramati taluka police have managed to nab him.
After the demise of the victim, family members and villagers held protests. They have accused that the police are not conducting the investigations properly. They also refused to cremate the girl’s body in the village. They had gone to the police station with the body but later were consoled by local political leaders.
The horrifying incident took place on December 8 when the girl was on her way to a chemist to buy medicine. Kenjale forced her into a house and raped her. After the rape, the girl was in trauma and had set herself ablaze at her home. The girl was rushed to a private hospital in Pune. Initially, she gave a statement that she received the injures due to stove blast. But later on December 14, in a statement to nayab tehsildar, she accused Kenjale of rape.
She had suffered 80 per cent burns and was admitted to Pune’s Sassoon General Hospital. The incident came to light when the victim’s father lodged a complaint with Baramati city police station on December 12 against Kenjale.
The history sheeter is married and has five children. He lives in the same society as that of the victim.
Deputy superintendent of police (Baramati) Sambhaji Kadam said, “In the past, he has been involved in theft cases. Meanwhile, we have arrested one Sunita Salunke in whose house he raped the victim.
The victim’s father, who is a daily wage labour told dna, “My daughter wanted to become a police officer. She was good in academics. Last week, we had a fight with Kenjale over water issue. He settled the score by raping my daughter.”
Police inspector Santosh Chavan of Baramati police station said, “We have formed three teams to nab him.”