Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar on Sunday demanded stringent punishment for a police sub-inspector accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at gunpoint in Osmanabad.Accompanied by senior NCP leaders, Pawar travelled from Pune to Osmanabad to meet top police officials to demand appointment of a special public prosecutor to pursue the case and its transfer to a fast-track court.Sub-Inspector Prem Sukhdev Bansode, 26, posted at Vishrambaug police station in Sangli, was charged with raping the minor daughter of his tenants at gunpoint on Thursday and later threatening them to keep the crime under wraps.The family, however, complained at the Anandnagar Police Station in Osmanabad at around 11 p.m. on Friday. The accused was booked under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act since the victim is a minor. Bansode was arrested and remanded in police custody till August 10."The July 13 incident (of rape-murder of a minor girl) at Kopardi in Ahmednagar is still fresh in our minds. Now this. In the past few days, there have been some other similar incidents and young school and college girls are feeling scared of even venturing out," Pawar told the media after meeting police officers.
The former Union Minister said he wanted to build pressure on police to ensure there is no bias in the investigations and prosecution of accused policeman."We wanted a woman Indian Police Service officer to conduct the probe. It will be done by Superintendent of Police Deepali Ghadge... the girl's statements must be recorded in-camera to protect the family's identity," Pawar said.The NCP chief said that since Osmanabad did not have a fast-track court, they would appeal to the state government to make provisions for one soon.According to police, Bansode had earlier served in Gadchiroli and reportedly boasted about the several rapes he committed in the past.He was on a week's leave prior to joining his new posting in Sangli when he committed the crime at his Osmanabad home.