A senior police inspector and a sub-inspector in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district were suspended last week over a case where the body of an alleged victim of gang rape and murder had been preserved for 44 days by her family as postmortems did not establish foul play.Police said Monday that inspector-general B G Shekhar had suspended the two officers from the Dhadgaon police station and transferred out four constables on the basis of an inquiry report submitted by superintendent of police P R Patil. The six officials were found to have “failed to perform their duties” and “left lacunas in the probe”.The 21-year-old tribal woman was found hanging on August 1 in a hamlet 20km from her home in Nandurbar. A postmortem had ruled out foul play, but her father said the woman had been raped by four men. Police then booked an abetment-to-suicide case, but changed the charges to gang rape and murder later.On September 15 the woman’s body was brought to the JJ Hospital in Mumbai for a second postmortem after exhuming her body from a salt pit. The forensic team from the hospital said it could not be concluded if the woman had been raped. “The body had semi-decomposed, which made it challenging to conclude if sexual assault had taken place,” said a doctor from the team.The family then decided to preserve the woman’s body in the salt pit until they got justice for her. Last week the body was cremated after police assured her father that strict action would be taken against the culprits.Police said they had arrested all the accused and that they were in judicial custody.Shiv Sena MLC Dr Neelam Gorhe had raised the issue in the Vidhan Parishad.
SIX POLICE personnel, including two officers, were transferred out of the Dhadgaon police station in Nandurbar district last week over failure to discharge their duties in a case where a man alleged that his 21-year-old daughter was raped and murdered. He had preserved the body for 44 days in a salt pit.P R Patil, Superintendent of Nandurbar district, confirmed the development adding they were transferred because they “failed to perform their duties”. The Indian Express had reported the case where the tribal woman’s body was exhumed from the salt pit in the village in Nandurbar and brought to JJ hospital in the city on September 15 for a second autopsy.The forensic team from the JJ hospital said it cannot be concluded if the woman was raped. “The body was semi-decomposed, which made it challenging to conclude if sexual assault was conducted,” said a doctor of the forensic team.The woman was found hanging on August 1 in a hamlet located 20 km from her home.While police had registered her death as suicide and a post-mortem conducted at the district hospital had ruled out foul play, her father alleged that the woman was raped by four men.The family then decided to preserve the body in a salt pit until they get justice for alleged rape and murder.Shiv Sena’s Neelam Gorhe, an MLC & Deputy Chairperson of The Legislative council of Maharashtra, had also raised the issue in the Vidhan Parishad.
Kailas Patil, the Shiv Sena’s Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Osmanabad, has alleged that Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde’s men hoodwinked him and tried to take him to Gujarat in a car. But Patil caught their bluff midway to the neighbouring state and escaped.“Patil on his return to Mumbai’s Matoshree, the residence of Shiv Sena chief late Bal Thackeray in Bandra (East), told the Sena workers that he was hoodwinked by Shinde and his group of MLAs and they were taking him to Gujarat with them on Monday night without informing him about anything,” a close associate of Patil told the Indian Express.Patil has alleged after the Vidhan Parishad elections, he was asked to join Eknath Shinde for dinner. He went with Shinde’s men thinking they were taking him to the dinner, but as the car went 40 km ahead of Thane, Patil realised something amiss. He quickly asked the driver to stop the car saying he wanted to attend to nature’s call.Patil got out of the car near the Gujarat-Maharashtra border and walked back towards Mumbai for a few kilometres in the night. He managed to get a lift from a man on a two-wheeler and later in a truck. He reached Mumbai early on Tuesday and informed Sena workers about his ordeal.Patil contested on a Shiv Sena ticket for the MLA seat for the first time and won. Keeping his loyalty to the party during the crisis situation in mind, Patil has been given the post of district chief in the party.Patil was among the 30 MLAs addressed by the party chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday amid the crisis. The political crisis in Maharashtra has been triggered by Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde, who has claimed that 40 MLAs from Maharashtra are with him as they shifted base Assam’s Guwahati from Surat in Gujarat on Wednesday.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that the arrest of party leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik is "politically motivated" and attempts were made to connect him to fugitive Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim.He also dismissed the demands raised by the Opposition seeking the resignation of Malik. Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.Also Read | Maharashtra Governor leaves without completing Vidhan Sabha address"Malik's arrest is a politically motivated one. He is being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim. Malik and his family members are being deliberately harassed but we will fight back," the NCP chief said. When asked about the opposition BJP's demand for Malik's resignation as a minister, Pawar said different yardsticks are being applied to Union minister Narayan Rane, who belongs to BJP, and Malik."I don't remember our (Congress') former party worker Narayan Rane had to resign after his arrest recently. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Pune. He may explain more about it. Applying one yardstick for Malik and another for Rane shows that all this was politically motivated," he claimed.Also Read | Fadnavis accuses MVA govt of being devoted to fugitive don Dawood IbrahimRane was arrested last August by the police at Sangameshwar in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra for his statement that he would have slapped state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for forgetting the year India got freedom during his Independence Day speech.Speaking about the alleged tapping of phones of select politicians when BJP was in power in Maharashtra, Pawar said, "I have seen the record of phone tapping of various leaders. It was done during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis government. Officials merely followed the orders and are now facing the consequences. I have never seen such a situation in the country before".Pawar also took a swipe at BJP and Maharashtra governor B S Koshyari, who has not approved the names of 12 MLCs sent to him by the Maharashtra cabinet for more than a year ago for their nomination to the Legislative Council."Maharashtra has the legacy of governors like PC Alexander among others. I should not talk about what the present governor is doing. The Central government is doing whatever it can do and Maharashtra is the latest example. "Getting nominated to the Vidhan Parishad is one's democratic right. But a year has passed and nothing is being done. If someone has decided not to maintain the prestige of the Constitutional post then what's the need to comment," Pawar said.Check out DH's latest videos:
Nawab Malik has been part of Maharashtra's ruling circles for decades, but he wasn't the name that came to mind when one spoke of "Muslim faces" in the government. One knew of him as a minister, sometimes handling labour, sometimes housing. Unlike other Muslim ministers, he was never photographed with maulanas, nor did he take centre stage when Muslims were released after spending years in jail on false charges, not because he has always maintained a low profile, but simply because he didn't get involved in such matters. He was no "qaum ka rehnuma" (leader of the community). He was just a politician. Today, when identity has become paramount, and representation is the buzzword, it's difficult to imagine a time when it was commonplace for Muslims to be part of government without being noticeably Muslim. Grouses about representation have been there for a long time; before every election, politically active Muslims would get together and demand that parties allot them more tickets. The demand was rarely met, and things would go back to normal after the results. But after Narendra Modi took over in 2014, things never went back to normal. It was no longer a question of not enough tickets. The question that began to be asked then had never needed to be asked: did Muslims matter anymore in our representative system of government?Modi's BJP made it clear that the only community that mattered was the majority community; all others, especially those following what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always described as "foreign" religions, had to efface their distinctiveness. Asaduddin Owaisi took this logic to the other extreme: Muslims must have a share in power, but only a Muslim party that flaunted the community's religious identity could give it to them.In this clash of arms, one reality continues to be ignored - the Muslim in government who is no different from his/her Hindu counterpart, who doesn't wear his/her faith like a badge. Does such a Muslim qualify in today's discussions on Muslim representation? So all-pervasive has the issue of identity become that we forget that for years Ghulam Nabi Azad was the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha; that Salman Khurshid is one among many who represent the Congress in TV debates and that Muslim MLAs from the South often talk about their parties on matters that have nothing to do with being Muslim.Also read: No need for Malik to resign as he has not be proven guilty, says minister Jayant PatilNawab Malik has been the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesman for more than a decade. He is also its Mumbai president. The NCP is Malik's predominant identity. But over the last few months, this low profile politician, who continues to live with his joint family in his old flat in the predominantly Muslim area of Kurla, has acquired a new identity: that of the "Muslim leader" who dared to take on the all-powerful Hindutvavadi Central government on behalf of an unfairly targeted Bollywood icon. And now that he's paying the price for that audacity, Nawab Malik has become the latest "Muslim victim". That epithet seems like a cruel joke to the Muslims who live in the constituency where Malik began his political career. The man who's been minister thrice hasn't bothered to ensure for his earliest voters even the most basic of civic amenities. Malik now fights from another constituency, but this ghetto, dotted with piles of garbage and illegal constructions, remains under the menacing shadow of his brother.Few of these voters joined the NCP's protest when Malik was arrested last week. It wasn't just their own neglect by the minister that made them stay away; it was also Malik's silence on the lynchings and everyday humiliation of Muslims that have been a hallmark of BJP-ruled states in the last seven years. As a spokesperson of an opposition party, Malik could have spoken up on these crucial issues. He chose not to. When he did take the BJP on, they point out, it was only to avenge his son-in-law's arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau.Yet, today, Muslims, in general, are proud that one of their own confronted the Centre. To the heroes and heroines of the fight against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the hijab ban, a most unlikely hero has been added. One wonders, though, whether Nawab Malik sees himself as part of this galaxy of fighters for the community. Going by his record as minorities minister for the last two years, he doesn't quite fit the bill.For thrusting this community halo on a man who shuns identity politics, credit must be given to the BJP and its relentless pursuit of Muslims at every level.(Jyoti Punwani is a journalist.)Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author's own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.Check out DH's latest videos