Mumbai: In a new twist in the Beed abortion case, it has now come to light that the main accused doctor couple enjoyed political patronage. The Mundes - Sudam and Saraswati - hobnobbed with the likes of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde. The couple have been on the run for about two weeks now.
Known as the Butcher of Beed, Dr Sudam is suspected to be behind a number of female foeticides and is the key accused in the death of Vijaymala Patekar.
Varsha Deshpande, one of the activists battling the social evil in Beed, said Sudam was arrested four times in the past but managed to get away with simply a slap on wrist. Stories of how a judge who refused him bail was summarily moved out and harassment of those who spoke against him abound.
Pankaja Munde, MLA from Beed and daughter of Gopinath Munde, has admitted that the doctor couple have literally gotten away with murder because of political and administrative patronage. That protection though, she insists, is not coming from her family.
"Of course there is protection... but my family will not and has not protected him... We condemn him," she said.
Politicians of all hues may be distancing themselves from the Mundes today but the fact that Sudam and Saraswati belonged to the politically powerful Vanjara caste meant that they were among the influential in Beed.
Having amassed property worth crores and willing to trade favours, they had networked their way to safety.
An embarrassed state government has promised to hunt him down. It's a promise to deliver justice to the many unborn daughters of Maharshtra.