Ahmedabad: Delhi deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia on Monday visited family members of a woman who was allegedly raped and murdered at Mandvi village in Bhavnagar district earlier this month and sought a CBI investigation.
Mr Sisodia alleged the perpetrators of the crime are still roaming freely as they are under the protection of “people in power” in state.
“A woman was raped and murdered 25 days ago in the village and the accused persons are still roaming free. Police arrested only one person though a group of men had committed the crime,” Mr Sisodia, who was on a one-day visit to Gujarat, told reporters after the meeting.
Gariadhar police had arrested one Atulbhai Baria in connection with the alleged incident occurred on December 2.
The incident had led to protest by Patidar activists claiming that the victim belonged to their community.
“The accused belonged to a certain section of people who have got political protection. I have come here to send out a message to the villagers that they are not alone, there are people in Delhi who care about them and will fight to bring justice to them. It’s a matter of shame that those in power at Centre and state are not able to protect villagers,” he said.
Mr Sisodia said AAP wanted a CBI probe into the incident as the “villagers have no faith in the police or state agencies.”
Patidar agitators, led by Sardar Patel Group (SPG), had claimed the incident occurred when the middle-aged woman was waylaid and raped by a group of men when she was walking towards home after her husband’s motorcycle broke down, and was murdered.
Meanwhile, Mr Sisodia met protesters demanding access to a playground in Ahmedabad, which they claimed was encroached upon by a school run by a private group.
According to protesters, the playground belongs to Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) but the corporate school has restricted the entry of common people during certain hours in a day.
The AAP leader spoke to residents and expressed his solidarity with them over the issue.
“A school belonging to a prominent industrialist has encroached upon over 6,000 square metre land, and such encroachments are happening everywhere in urban areas with the help of politicians and bureaucrats. Despite notices served to the school four times in 2001, they have not quit,” he said.
AAP Gujarat in-charge and party MLA Gulab Singh Yadav and party leader Kanubhai Kalsaria accompanied Mr Sisodia.
Mr Kalsaria said he would sit on a ‘dharna’ (sit in protest) outside the ground until the authorities open the playground for general public.