Khairlanji (Maharashtra), Sept 15 : A fasttrack sessions court in Bhandara on Monday held eight of the accused in the Khairlanji massacre in which eleven men were charged with the crime of brutally murdering four members of a Dalit family in 2006.
However, the court acquitted three others and deferred the pronouncement of the quantum of the sentence. Hearing in the case will be resumed from September 20.
On September 29, 2006, following a land dispute a group of villagers killed four members of the Dalit Bhaiyalal Bhotmange's family, including his wife Surekha, daughter Priyanka and two sons Dilip and Roshan in Khairlanji village in Bhandara District of Maharashtra. Their mutilated bodies were dumped in a nearby canal.
Initially the case was treated as a village feud, but later it was taken up as a case of atrocity against Dalits.
The state criminal investigation department to the CBI was investigating the case after it was transferred from the local police following widespread protests across the country.
The CBI filed a chargesheet against 11 of 46 accused on December 27, though Bhaiyyalal testified that nearly 50 villagers were involved. The accused were arrested on October 1.
The trial began in May 2007 and lasted over a year during which 36 witnesses were examined including four eyewitnesses, of whom one turned hostile.
The State Government had suspended four police officers and three medical officers for dereliction of duty. Bhaiyyalal was offered Rs 12 lakh as compensation, a house and employment by the Government later.