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Mah Govt dismisses 5 policemen in Khairlanji case

Written by: Staff

Nagpur, Dec 4 (UNI) The Maharashtra Government has dismissed five policemen from service for ''leniency'' in the investigation into the September killing of four members of a Dalit family by villagers in Khairlanji in Bhandara district.

The announcement was today made by Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, while replying to discussion on an adjournment motion on the Khairlanji killings moved by the Opposition in the Assembly.

Mr Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, said the government had summarily dismissed Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Vinayak Susatkar, Police Station Officer (PSO) Siddheshwar Bharne, Assistant Police Inspector (API) Natthu Badwaik, and Head Constables Baban Meshram and Kishore Shahare.

Susatkar was the SDPO in Tumsar, while the others were posted at Andhalgaon Police Station, under whose jurisdiction Khairlanji falls, when the killings took place.

All the five policemen had already been made co-accused in the Khairlanji case, Mr Patil told the House.

He said the government would also dismiss from service doctors, who conducted the first post-mortem on the bodies of the four victims.

A similar action would be taken against the Assistant Public Prosecutor, who failed to advise the police to invoke the provisions of the Atrocity Act after a relative of the victims' family was assaulted by villagers nearly four weeks before the killings, he said.

Mr Patil said an independent commission for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes would be constituted in the state within 15 days.

Vigilance committees would also formed in all districts with a state-level committee for co-ordination to provide dalits a forum for airing their grievances.

The state government has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the Khairlanji incident, to complete its probe as early as possible, Mr Patil said, adding that a fast-track court would be constituted for the trial as soon as the charge-sheet was ready.

The victims -- Surekha Bhotmange (44), daughter Priyanka (18) and sons Roshan (23) and Sudhir (21) -- were killed by a mob in Khairlanji late on the night of September 30 over a land dispute.

Siddharth Gajbhiye, a relative of the Bhotmange's, was assaulted by villagers nearly four weeks before the killings, as he had tried to resolve the dispute.


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