Investigations into the Srushti Dabhade suicide case has revealed that the accused teenager Aakash Prakash Salve (19), had threatened to kill her if she refused to marry him. Aakash used to torment Srushti by sending messages on her mobile phone, besides obstructing her way while she made her way to college, police told the court yesterday.
Aakash, along with his father Prakash alias Pintya Gopal Salve (44), and mother Meena alias Meenakshi (39), all residents of Yashwantnagar in Talegaon Dabhade, were produced in Wadgaon court amidst tight security. Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Mahipal Bihare remanded the trio in police custody till October 22. Aakash’s father and mother have been charged with provoking their son to mentally harass Srusthi and abet her suicide.
Besides, the accused has also been charged with section 354 (d), which specifically deals with stalking and prescribes punishment up to three years of imprisonment and fine. According to the cops, Aakash was harassing Srushti for the past six months, and used to frequently call and message her on the mobile phone, even threatening to kill Srushti if she didn’t agree to marry him, police told the court.
Distraught with the constant harassment, 16-year-old Srushti committed suicide after jumping off a water tank in Panchavati Colony in Talegaon Dabhade on Tuesday afternoon.
While demanding police custody of the accused, Assistant Public Prosecutor Santosh Pardeshi said, “Police have to recover the mobile handset and two wheeler used by Aakash for committing the offence. Police also want to interrogate Srushti’s friends and find out whether there were any witnesses to the crime. Aakash’s movements before and after the crime also need to be traced and verified,” Pardeshi told the court.
Advocate Deepak Laddha, representing the accused, argued that Aakash’s parents were not involved in the alleged crime and that they should be immediately let off. Police can interrogate Aakash for recovery of the said items if needed. After listening to both ides, the court remanded all three accused in police custody.
BJP’s Talegaon office bearer and Srushti’s uncle Santosh Dabhade said, “Aakash has previous record of harassing girls in our locality. When he tried to intimidate Srushti, we approached the senior police officers to register a compliant against him. The police, however, didn’t take cognisance of our complaint.”
“When Srushti saw that police are not heeding to requests made by her father, a noted criminal lawyer from Talegaon, she went into depression. She had even raised questions to her father about his status in the town after leaving the police station on Tuesday morning. If police had registered the compliant, Srushti would not have committed suicide on Tuesday afternoon,” he added.
Aakash’s father Prakash has three serious offences registered against him in 2006 and 2008 at Talegaon Dabhade and Wadgaon Maval police station. Two of these offences include sections of the Arms Act too.
‘Also Hold the police guilty’
BJP’s Talegaon office bearer and Srushti’s uncle Santosh Dabhade has asked for suspended police officers to be made co-accused in the case
“Srushti committed suicide only because she got depressed due to police inaction. So, we have demanded that suspended police inspector Rajendra Patil, head constable R H Bendbhar and another police official Sandeep Sankpal should be made co-accused in this case of abetment to suicide,” Dabhade said.
Supriya Sule visits Srusthi’s family
Meanwhile, earlier in the day yesterday, MP Supriya Sule also paid a condolence visit to the Dabhade residence.
“Srushti’s case has taught policemen a lesson. Henceforth, they will take serious cognisance of complaints in cases of crime against women,” Sule said.
A rally to protest against increasing sexual harassment incidences in Talegaon and police apathy was also carried out in the station area last morning