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Day After Wardha Teacher Set Ablaze, Locals Demand Death Penalty for Stalker

Representative image.

Representative image.

Residents of Hinganghat and Samudrapur areas in Wardha took out a protest march on Tuesday, demanding death penalty for the accused -Vikesh Nagrale (27).

Nagpur/Wardha: The condition of a woman college teacher who was set ablaze by a stalker in Maharashtra's Wardha district was "very critical", hospital

authorities said on Tuesday.

Residents of Hinganghat and Samudrapur areas in Wardha took out a protest march on Tuesday, demanding death penalty for the accused -Vikesh Nagrale (27).

The accused set Ankita Pisudde (25) ablaze on Monday morning while she was on her way to the college. She was initially rushed her to a nearby primary health centre from where she was shifted to Orange City Hospital and Research Centre in Nagpur where doctors said her condition was "very critical".

"At present, her conditionis still critical," the medical bulletin issued by the hospital said, adding that she was on oxygen support and under critical care monitoring.

"In view of her very critical condition, prognosis has been repeatedly explained to her relatives and police personnel," the bulletin said.

Wardha's guardian minister Sunil Kedar and Hinganghat BJP MLA Samir Kunnawar visited the hospital. Meanwhile, around 7,000 people, including members of political parties, activists, women and college students, marched from Nanduri Chowk to Ambedkar Square in Wardha while raising slogans against Nagrale.

They also submitted a memorandum to a senior revenue official in Hinganghat, demanding trial in the case to be fast tracked and death penalty for the accused.

A few demonstrators also demanded that the accused be handed over to the public for 10 minutes, an official said. Residents of Hinganghat town and neighbouring areas also called for a shut down, following which routine activities in the area were hit, he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked the police to properly investigate the incident and build a watertight case to ensure the accused is convicted. A statement from the Chief Minister's Office quoted Thackeray as saying that the victim will be provided treatment from the CM's Medical Assistance Fund.

Thackeray has taken serious cognisance of the crime, which took place on Monday in the Hinganghat area of Wardha district, the statement said.

Meanwhile, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the incident was a "blot on humanity".

"The victim will be provided all medical assistance. The accused was nabbed yesterday. The case will be tried in a fast track court and he would be punished severely," Deshmukh tweeted.

Condemning the incident, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena said stringent action should be taken against the accused so that the state of law can be established.

The Maharashtra State Commission for Women on Monday directed the Wardha superintendent of police to submit a report in connection with the case.

Nagrale, who was arrested on Monday after the incident, was the victim's friend till two years ago before she severed ties with him due to his "irrational behaviour", a senior police official earlier said.

"Nagrale is a married man and has a seven-month-old son. He works at a firm in Balharshah. He used to stalk the woman. He had even tried to commit suicide last year, though no complaint was lodged at that time," the official said.

The victim's cousin, Shubham Pisudde, told PTI that Nagrale had been harassing her for last many years despite repeated warnings. "Her marriage was broken last year due to Nagrale," she said.

first published:February 04, 2020, 18:21 IST