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Maharashtra Home dept should be led by separate minister: Sharad Pawar

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Days after a teenage girl was allegedly raped by a policeman in Osmanabad, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday demanded that state Home Department be handled by a separate minister, in view of “rising” crime against women.

“Cases of rape and sexual harassment are going up every passing day. College-going girls are feeling insecure. I feel that government should appoint a separate minister to lead Home department,” Pawar said on Sunday.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis currently handles the Home portfolio. Pawar said while crime ratio is increasing, the rate of conviction in cases against women is poor. “Maharashtra is at fourth slot in country as far as conviction rate is concerned,” the former Union minister said.

Pawar, accompanied by the Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde, former ministers Jayant Patil, Dilip Walse Patil and others met district officials in the wake of the incident. He clarified that he didn’t meet the family members of the girl as it would have revealed identity of the family.

Prem Bansode (26), presently posted as sub-inspector at Vishrambaug police station in Sangli district, was arrested in Osmanabad on Friday night on the same day of the incident.

The victim (16), who has been Bansode’s tenant along with her family members, alleged that PSI raped her at gun point and threatened them against disclosing the crime. Bansode has been booked under section 376 of IPC (rape) and sections of POCSO Act.

Meanwhile, Pawar demanded that the case be shifted to a fast track court and probe be handed over to a senior woman police officer. The investigation is being handled by Osmanabad Additional SP Dipali Ghatge.
PTI

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