State consults legal experts for taking Khairlanji case to Supreme Court

Published: Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010, 0:52 IST
By Shubhangi Khapre | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The state government is consulting legal experts to find out if its
appeal in the Supreme Court in the Khairlanji case can ensure capital
punishment to the six accused, who had perpetrated the heinous crime.
Chief minister Ashok Chavan on Monday held a meeting with Dalit
leaders to reiterate the state’s unhappiness over the high court’s
decision to award the six accused life sentence instead of capital

The state’s decision to intervene comes in the backdrop of mounting
pressure from social groups, who are questioning the role of the
Democratic Front government in the Khairlanji case.

The case, which was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI), saw the lower court awarding death sentence to the six accused.
But, the high court converted the capital punishment into life

The lone survivor of the Khairlanji killings, Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, had
decided to fight the battle single-handed and go in appeal to the
Supreme Court. Dalit leaders including ministers from across the state
had rallied around him and decided to seek support from the state

Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) president Prakash Ambedkar said, “The
fact that the high court converted the capital punishment to life
sentence highlights the shoddy work done by the state government and
the CBI. Concrete evidences were deliberately withheld, or not placed
before the court.” Dalit leaders had questioned as to why the accused
were not booked under the atrocities act and charged with intent to
rape even after evidence of the brutal killing of Bhotmange’s daughter
and wife was found.

At the meeting, Chavan also expressed concern over rising incidents of
attack against Dalits and other backward castes across the state. The
chief minister indicated that an autonomous body on the lines of the
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) should be set-up to study and
ascertain the reasons behind such incidents.

Minister for dairy development Nitin Raut said, “We have to take
concrete steps to ensure Khairlanji never happens again. The attack on
Dalits can’t go unreported.”

According to Congress spokesperson Hussain Dalwai, often the Dalits
become soft target because of caste prejudices and patronage from
police department.


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