Friday, November 16, 2012

High Court Confirms the Life Imprisonment of Convicts in Child Sexual Abuse & Trafficking Case, Exposed by Snehalaya

High Court Confirms the Life Imprisonment of Convicts in Child Sexual Abuse & Trafficking Case, Exposed by Snehalaya

Aurangabad, 17 Nov.

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has confirmed life imprisonment for seven convicts for their involvement in the 2006 Ahmednagar sex scandal and the modified life sentences of 12 convicts of between 8-10 years. The bench comprised of Justices Ambadas Joshi and U D Salvi. They reserved the judgment on one of the accused, Chetan Bhalgat, who has married the victim. The judgment has helped again to create a threat of law among the child traffickers & abusers.

The Ahmednagar district and sessions court had in 2010 convicted the 20 suspects to life terms in the scandal, which was exposed by Snehalaya. The scandal had rocked the state in 2006. A total of 23 people, including local politicians and businessmen had been booked for their involvement in the sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl.

The main accused, Sheela Bargal, died a couple of months after the case was registered, in February 2006. Bargal would clandestinely supply girls to customers, including the minor victim. One of the accused, Satish Pathre, is still in a coma after he met with an accident. His case has been separated and he will be tried once he regains consciousness.

The accused had been charged with gang rape of a minor girl after kidnapping her and luring her with money. The girl was raped in various lodges in Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Nimgaon Jali and Dhule in Maharashtra.

The case was exposed by
Snehalaya's Muktivahini (a team of young volunteers). The team convinced the victim to file a police complaint with the Topkhana police station. Since several local politicians and influential traders were allegedly involved in the scandal, the case was handed over to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The CID teams, led by the then deputy superintendents of police Pushpa Deshmukh and Sushma Chavan, had investigated the matter and submitted the chargesheet.

The convicts whose life terms were confirmed by the high court are Tukaram Misal, Ramesh Barkase, Harjitsingh Rajpal, Ramrao Dengle, Ramakant Dengle, Ashok Kasare, and Vilas Karale. Those who got 10 years are Raghunath Jholkar, Vasant Mangu Pawra (former speaker of Zilla Parishad Taluk Shirpur,Dhule), Ravindra Thorat, Rajenda Shivajirao Thorat, Abma alias Dnyandeo Gondekar, Abdul Haq Qureshi, Ajay Kate and Balkrishna Goyal. Hardeep Jaggad, Akash Rathi, Atmaram Dengle and Ruchit Mehta got eight years jail each. All the convicts are in the Yerawada Jail in Pune.

Special Public prosecutor Vijay Sawant has played a major role in the conviction both at Session & High Court. Police officer Sushama Chavan (CID) also played a major role in the  investigation of the case. Team Snehalaya including Anil Gawade, Hanif Shaikh, Ambadas Chavan, Ajay Wable, Raju Gunjal, Santosh Sonawane & Prakash Pachpute have had fought bravely & strongly witnessed  against accused.

High Court has appreciated the main role of Snehalaya volunteers who bravely and strongly stood for the truth as prime witnesses in the court.

The use of minors in flesh trade was totally stopped in Ahmednagar district as a result of this case. Previously, also in such cases, criminals were given punishments in 23 various cases due to committed efforts of Snehalaya. This historical judgment has created a landmark in the national movement of anti-trafficking and anti-child abuse. 

Snehalaya Family appreciated the sincere efforts of Lawyer Vijay Sawant (Pune ) & Police Officers Pushpa Deshmukh & Sushma Chavan  in the matter.

The case of another minor girl is still pending in the session court since 7 yrs but we hope for the same result of the case.


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