Hostel horror: Maha cracks whip, sets up 2 probe panels

Mumbai, Jun 7 (IANS): Under severe fire from the Opposition and others, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday set up two probe committees to investigate the issues of women safety-security following the brutal rape-cum-murder of an 18-year-old girl student at the state-run Savitridevi Phule Women's Hostel.

Higher & Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil said that two panels shall probe on the issue from two fronts and submit their reports as soon as possible.

"One panel will go into the circumstances and the incident that happened in the hostel. The crime is extremely heinous and disturbing. The second panel will examine the aspect of women's security at all the government-run hostels in the state," said Patil.

This will be in addition to the Mumbai Police investigation into the crime for which it has set up three special teams which have left for different parts of the country by flights today, he added.

The Minister assured that after the reports of the two committees of his department and the police probe report are received, the government will formulate suitable measures to beef up women's security at such institutions.

"This was a very unfortunate incident. We shall take stringent remedial measures... Nobody will be spared," said a grim Patil.

The government has already issued the necessary orders for the committees headed by the Director, Higher Education Department, which will start its work soon, he added.

It may be recalled that earlier on Wednesday, top women leaders from various Opposition political parties and the social spectrum expressed outrage over the shuddering incident which happened in the heart of south Mumbai, within close proximity of various police establishments and VVIP enclaves.

Among those who have targeted the government included state Mahila Congress President Sandhya Savalakhe, Nationalist Congress MP Supriya Sule, Shiv Sena (UBT) top leaders Neelam Gorhe and Manisha Kayande, Bhumata Ranragini Brigade chief Trupti Desai, besides male leaders like Nana Patole, Ajit Pawar, Sanjay Raut, and others.

Late on Tuesday, the victim, hailing from Akola was found dead in her room, in a naked state and hours later, the prime suspect, the hostel's watchman-cum-laundryman, Omprakash Kanojia - earlier reportedly missing - was also found dead on the railway tracks near Charni Road station nearby.



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