District unit members of National Students Union of India (NSUI) and local people took out a rally demanding exemplary punishment to the accused in rape and murder of 16-year-old girl here. They demanded ` 20 lakh compensation to the family of deceased.
Leaders of different political parties including Congress, OJM, BJD and CPI visited the village and condemned the cruel incident. They demanded trial of the case in a fast track court for early verdict on the case.
Meanwhile, Gondia police have arrested one more person, Sarat Naik, who helped the first accused, Shivaji Naik, commit the crime.
According to sources, Sarat, a tractor driver, developed a relationship with the girl while working near her house. Prior to his relation with her, Shivji had offered to marry the girl. But the girl’s family had turned it down.
Infuriated by the refusal, Shivaji and her family had allegedly attacked the girl’s family members. An FIR in this regard was lodged against Shivaji at Gondia police station.
Police had arrested Shivaji who was imprisoned for some months and later came out on bail. However the case was dropped after dispute was settled with intervention of village committee, said Gondia Inspector in-charge Ugrasen Pradhan.
However, on the night of the incident, Sarat called the girl to an empty thatched room near her house. Without doubting his intention, the girl accompanied him.
But Sarat and Shivaji allegedly raped her and set her and the room on fire. Seeing the house on fire, a villager Srikant Dehury informed fire brigade personnel who came to the spot at around 3.30 am.
But they failed to rescue the girl whose body with 95 per cent burn injuries was found from the razed house. The accused have confessed to the crime during interrogation. But, Shivaji’s family members refuted the charges.
Meanwhile, district administration has paid Rs 10,000 from Red Cross fund to the victim’s family and panchayat provided food materials for some days, said District Welfare Officer PC Das who accompanied Dhenkanal Sub-Collector PK Sahani to the village.