Uddhav Thackeray vows 'harsh punishment' for man who killed professor

Updated: Feb 11, 2020, 08:11 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urges the public to maintain calm over Hinganghat murder after people block a highway

The accused, Vikesh Nagrale
The accused, Vikesh Nagrale

Following the death of a 25-year-old woman who was burnt alive seven days ago in Hinganghat near Wardha, CM Uddhav Thackeray has urged people to be patient. He said the case will be fast-tracked and the accused will be given a harsh sentence for the murder.

The woman, a teacher, Ankita Pissude, was set ablaze by Vikesh Nagrale, 27, last Monday when she was on the way to her college.

She was shifted to Nagpur where doctors treated her for severe burns but she breathed her last after her heart failed twice. The burns had affected her lungs and heart.

The news of her death evoked strong reactions from her village and other places in the vicinity. Angry protesters blocked the old Hyderabad-Nagpur highway and demanded instant justice. They lined up along the 120-km stretch to bid the victim a last farewell.

Public demands justice

The woman's father wanted Nagrale to be burnt alive. He is currently in judicial custody and has been charged under multiple IPC sections, with the murder charge now included.

Politicians joined the angry voices demanding Hyderabad-like instant justice. In Hyderabad, the police team had killed four gang-rape accused in an encounter last month.

Hinganghat residents blocked highways on Monday following the woman’s death. PIC/PTIHinganghat residents blocked highways on Monday following the woman's death. Pic/ PTI

Similar demands have been made in the Hinganghat murder case. BJP legislator Nitish Rane said the police should have used bullets against the accused.

Several politicians said the incident refreshed the memory of the Hyderabad shootout but questioned people's choice of encounters instead of legal procedures.

Ujjwal Nikam to represent state

Thackeray said he was aware of the extreme reactions. "The case will be fast-tracked and the accused will be given a harsh sentence," he said, adding that noted criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam would represent the state in the case. He said the state would mull replicating the Andhra Pradesh government's system that provides for completing an investigation and trial within 21 days in the case of crime against women.

Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis told the government to ensure harsh punishment that would prove as a deterrent.

3 Feb Day the incident took place

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