Maharashtra Minister Chandrakant Patil on Wednesday announced that the state government has established a committee to inquire into the case of rape and murder of an 18-year-old student inside her room at a hostel in Mumbai’s Charni Road.
According to the the government order announced by the Higher and Technical Education Minister, Dr Nipun Vinayak, state project director, will head the one-member committee. State director of Higher Education and Divisional Joint Director from the Higher Education department will assist him. The inquiry report has to be filed at the earliest.
मुंबई येथील सावित्रीदेवी फुले वसतिगृहामध्ये दि. ६ जून, 2023 रोजी घडलेली घटना अत्यंत धक्कादायक व दुर्दैवी असून, सदर घटनेचे गांभीर्य विचारात घेऊन, यासाठी उच्चस्तरीय चौकशी समिती स्थापन करण्यात आली आहे. सदर निर्णयाचा शासन आदेश जारी करण्यात आला आहे.@CMOMaharashtra @mieknathshinde… pic.twitter.com/iUCKQC4uGd— Chandrakant Patil (@ChDadaPatil) June 7, 2023
The directive came after a 18-year-old college student was allegedly raped and murdered by a security guard in her fourth-floor room in the government-run Savitribai Phule Working Women’s Hostel in Charni Road area.
The alleged perpetrator, identified as security guard Prakash Kanojia, who also had a job as a laundry man, took his own life shortly after her murder.
According to the police, Kanojia’s body was discovered on the railway tracks near Charni Road station on Tuesday morning.
Officials said the 18-year-old woman, who hailed from Akola, was a second-year student at a polytechnic college in suburban Bandra and the only child of her parents. Her hostel mate had invited her to come to her room on the fourth floor as she was alone, but the victim decided to stay in her own room instead. The police mentioned that this fellow student was the last person to have spoken to the victim at 11.30 pm on Monday.
A senior officer said that the victim’s room was locked from the outside. As per reports, hostel authorities discovered the girl’s body on Tuesday at around 5 pm after she did not respond to calls. The authorities peered into the room through a window, found the student’s body and informed the local police.
Upon opening the door, the woman was found dead with a ‘dupatta’ (scarf) around her neck. The police suspect that she was raped before being strangulated to death. Forensic experts from the Kalina lab later collected evidence, including fingerprints, from the crime scene.
Her body was taken to JJ Hospital at 8.15 pm for autopsy.
Following a complaint lodged by the student’s cousin and considering the available circumstantial evidence, an FIR was filed against the security guard under Sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.
An investigation is currently underway, and the official mentioned that the post-mortem report is awaited.