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Khairlanji incident unfortunate: Patil

Written by: Staff
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Nagpur, Dec 5 (UNI) Reiterating that the recent killing of four members of a dalit family in Khairlanji in Bhandara district of Vidarbha region was unfortunate, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who also holds the home portfolio, said the incident put a question mark on the sensitivity of the entire society and could not be attributed to the failure of the law-enforcement machinery alone.

Replying to a discussion on the Khairlanji issue in the Legislative Council today, Mr Patil said the police could not bring about change in the psyche of the people to gun-point. It was the duty of every member of society to ensure harmony, he said.

Reacting to criticism of the government from the opposition over the Khairlanji incident, Mr Patil said: ''Hang me if you want, but please ensure that there will not be a single case of atrocity on dalits ever again.'' There has not been a single year when no case was registered in Maharashtra under the Atrocity Act, he said.

Mr Patil reiterated that the government had conceded all the demands made by dalit organisations after the killing of Surekha Bhotmange (44), daughter Priyanka (18), and sons Roshan (23) and Sudhir (21) in Khairlanji late on the night of September 30 over a land dispute.

Bhaiyylal Bhotmange, the lone survivor in the family after the killings, had apprised Jogendra Kawade (RPI), a member of the House, of the harrassment from villagers. The shameful killings could have been avoided if Mr Kawade had pursued the matter seriously, the Home Minsiter said.

The discussion had been initiated in the House by Mr Kawade yesterday, and continued today as it had remained incomplete. Those who participated in the discussion included Diwakar Rawate, Nilam Gorhe, Madhukar Sarpotdar (all Shiv Sena), Sharad Ranpise, Ramesh Nikose (both Congress), Kapil Patil (Lok Bharati), Madhukar Chavan (BJP) and Jitendra Awhad (NCP).

UNI XR-AB KU RL DS1703

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