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India's shame: Khairlanji victim yet to get land

March 12, 2013 18:45 IST

Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, whose four family members were tortured and murdered at Khairlanji in Bhandara district in September 2006, on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government to hand over the land promised by it in the aftermath of the killings, which sparked nationwide protests.

Bhotmange, who met Home Minister R R Patil, told mediapersons at the Vidhan Bhawan that he was yet to get the promised land. Patil spoke to Social Justice minister Shivajirao Moghe and asked him to do the needful.

Bhotmange also demanded a ‘competent’ lawyer to represent the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Supreme Court on its appeal against the Bombay high court's decision to commute the death sentence of six convicts in the Khairlanji killings.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court had in 2010 commuted the death sentence of the six convicts to 25 years' imprisonment. Four members of the Dalit family -- Surekha Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, her daughter Priyanka, sons Sudhir and Roshan -- were brutally killed by a mob in Khairlanji village on September 29, 2006 over a land dispute with upper castes, provoking violent protests across the state.

The court, while commuting the death sentence, had noted there was no caste factor involved in the killings and that all the accused had no previous criminal record.

It said mitigating and aggravating circumstances were more powerful in the case. Six of the people accused of killing the children were given death sentence by a lower court in September 2008.

Another two were sentenced to life term for murdering Bhotmange's wife. "The state government had provided an able lawyer in Ujwal Nikam in the lower court. Now, when the case is in the apex court, we need another able lawyer," Bhotmange said.

Patil would be writing to the CBI in Nagpur in this regard, he said.

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