Mumbai, Jul 18:  A 15-year-old girl was brutally raped allegedly by three men before she was throttled in Kopardi village in Karjat taluka of Ahmednagar district, police said today. All three accused, Jitendra Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Dhailume, were arrested by the local crime branch after the incident occurred on July 13, police said. Also Read - Maharashtra: Sarpanch of Ambi-Dumala Village Sarpanch Hires Chopper to Reach Swearing-in

The crime has sparked protests in Karjat, where villagers took to streets demanding strict action against the accused, even as a political slugfest erupted with opposition demanding Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavais’ resignation over the matter on “moral grounds”. “The incident took place on July 13 between 6.45 PM and 7.30 PM when the 15-year-old victim was returning after meeting her grandfather. She was accosted by three persons, namely Jitendra Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Dhailume, who gangraped her violently before throttling her to death. Her both shoulders were found to be dislocated,” Ahmednagar district Superintendent of Police Saurabh Tripathi told PTI. He said Shinde alias ‘Pappu’ was arrested on July 14 while the other two accused were held later. (ALSO READ: Shocking! Deaf-dumb woman raped by 3 in Kolkata, one held) Also Read - Nirbhaya Rerun: 3 Men Gangrape UP Woman & Insert Rod in Her Private Parts, Gory Details Emerge

The accused have been booked under IPC sections 376 (punishment for rape), 302 (murder) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The officer has dismissed media reports about the nature of cruelty the victim was allegedly subjected to by the trio. On the eve of beginning of monsoon session of the state Legislature, Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today demanded that Fadnavis should step down taking moral responsibility of the incident. Also Read - Another Nirbhaya: Angry Netizens Demand Justice For Hathras Gangrape Victim, Want Rapists to be Hanged

“We have a chief minister who also holds Home portfolio. He refuses to acknowledge that law and order situation in the state is deteriorating under his tenure. He did not even have time to go and visit the bereaved family. He should immediately take moral responsibility and resign,” the Congress leader said. Leader Of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde demanded capital punishment for the accused, besides a high-level inquiry. He alleged that photos of Ahmednagar district Guardian Minister Ram Shinde with the “prime accused” in the case are doing rounds in media.

“There was laxity on the part of police officials in arresting the accused. Photos of Guardian minister (of Ahmednagar district) Ram Shinde with the prime accused are going around in media. Thus, there needs to be a high-level inquiry into the incident. Also, we demand fast track hearing of this case and capital punishment for the accused,” the NCP leader said. When contacted, Shinde, who was recently elevated to the post of cabinet minister, said he had no relation with the accused and that the guilty will be dealt with an iron hand.