Panel member asks police to probe Ahmednagar ‘honour killing’
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CALLING it one of the most repugnant acts of caste atrocity and honour killing in the recent past, SC/ST Commission member Justice (retd) C L Thool has directed the police not to digress from the main motive behind the gruesome killing of three Dalit men in Sonai village of Ahmednagar district on January 1.
One of the victims, 22-year-old Sachin Gharu, who belonged to the Mehtar (Valmiki) community, was hacked into several pieces allegedly after the accused — Popta Dharandale, Ramesh Dharandale and Prakash Dharandale — discovered that he had been in a relationship with a 19-year-old upper caste girl for the past two years.
"It is a clear case of honour killing. The upper caste accused could not accept the fact that a sweeper was involved in a relationship with their daughter. It was a well executed murder plan in which the accused slyly called the victims to their farmhouse and brutally killed them," Justice Thool said.
Thool, who is on a two-day visit to the village and has met witnesses and investigators, has recommended that the police work on the honour killing angle. "Unless the motive is clearly investigated, the prosecution will find it difficult to build up the seriousness of the crime before the court," Thool said. The commission visited the farm house and a septic tank and a well in which the bodies were dumped. While the accused were arrested soon, it took police over a week to invoke the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act. "It was looked at as a murder without acknowledging the motive behind the killing," advocate Priyadarshi Telang from Manuski, an NGO that has been following the case closely, said. The three victims, who were safai karmacharis at Trimurti Education Society, were the sole bread winners of their families. "Compensation provided is not at par with the recent amendment brought in the Act. As against the Rs 4 lakh compensation, the state government has provided only Rs 1.5 lakh to the families,"
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