The accused include Gopal Binjewar, Sakru Binjewar, Shatrughan Dhande, Mahipal Dhande, Dharampal Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Ramu Dhande, Jagdish Mandlekar, Prabhakar Mandlekar, Purushottam Titarmare and Shishpal Dhande. These persons, who were arrested on October 1, 2006, face criminal charges under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act (1989) and will be handed the verdict at Bhandara court by additional sessions and distict judge A S Dass.
They have been accused of brutally murdering Surekha Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, her daughter Priyanka and sons Sudhir and Roshan on September 29, 2006 in a land dispute.
Surekha's husband and the only surviving member of the family, Bhaiyalal, managed to escape. The four were mercilessly beaten to death and their bodies thrown into a canal in Khairlanji village, about 60 km near Nagpur, the prosecution has alleged.
Bowing to mounting pressure, the state authorities handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation and its Chennai unit was entrusted with the task. Bhaiyalal was also provided employment by the state government.
The killings evoked violent reactions across the state and drew condemnations from all quarters including the state Assembly and Parliament.