Khairlanji : Court Proceedings 21st July contd..

24Jul08

Adv.Khan begins his arguments.

Adv. Khan first of all gives the explanation of re-registering of crime which was registered as F.I.R. No. 56/2006. He says that the case was transferred to C.B.I. on 27/ 11/2006. Before that the Maharashtra govt.’s request had been turned down by the authority because of the lack of the staff. The Maharashtra Govt.s notification of transferring the case gave rise to the notification of the central govt . to hand over the case to this Central Agency of investigation. C.B.I.  derives its power of investigation  from Delhi   Special Police Establishment Act 1946. After C.B.I.’s acceptance of the case the govt. of Maharashtra gave enabling power to C.B.I. to investigate the crime within the territory of Maharashtra. C.B.I. has no separate police station or a large staff to assist in the investigation. So, the govt. of Maharashtra gave authority  to .C.B.I. to seek the assistance of local police station.

After registering of F.I.R. , the investigation starts. F.I.R. is only for information. There is no constraint on F.I.R. as to how many times it can be registered. It can be registered  twice , thrice and so on. The format of F.I.R. of Police & that of C.B.I. is different. There is no change of information but only the format of information has been changed..Bhaiyyalal did not come twice to register the F.I.R. There is only the re-registration of F.I.R. We did not record anything new.

On question of delay –

There is no delay as to the investigation by C.B.I. The case was transferred to it on 27/11/06 and on 28/11/06, the case was registered. The state of Maharashtra gave enabling power to C.B.I. to investgate. There is no territorial restriction for C.B.I. which is established by the act of DSPE – 1946.

About the Crime-

In this whole crime, four stages can be mentioned
1) Preparation or motivation of Crime.
2) Executiion
3) Disposal of dead bodies.
4) Subsequent Recovery of bodies.
Execution of the Crime –
I will first turn the court’s attention to the background of crime. Sidhhartha was assaulted on 3/9/06 . In this matter , Surekha’s statements were recorded. The accused were produced before the court on 29/9/06. They were bailed out on the same day after the completion of the formalities of the court. Then they returned to Khairlanji village and committed the offence.

Now, I will bring the court’s attention to Mukesh Pusam’s statement under para 3.
 
I studied upto 5th standard.  I do not understand about the directions.  I go to field at 10.00 a.m. and return back at 5.00 p.m.  Bhaiyalal Bhotmange belongs to Mahar caste.  There are 3 houses of Mahar community in our village, including that of Bhaiyalal.  Vinod Meshram and Durwas Khobragade are belonged to Mahar community and they have their houses at our village.  Vinod Meshram and Durwas Khobragade reside in the main village and not in our Toli.  In our Toli (Ward) there is only one house of Mahar community i.e. Of Bhaiyalal Bhotmange.  

There is no ambiguity as to the caste of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange and his family. His caste Certificate has been already submitted in the court as well as  that of the accused as they belong to Non- S.C/S.T. This attracts the provision of Prevention of atrocity Act – 1989. We have established this by documentary as well as by oral testimonials. Mukesh Pusam further says,
They were telling that “Mahar Lok Majlele Aahet Tyana Gharabaher Kadha Aani Marun Taka.” (Mahar community people became arrogant and they be pulled out and be killed). 

In this statement of Mukehs Pusam , the utterance of the assailants that Mahar lok … shows that they had shouted the casteist abuses against Bhotamnge’s family. Why this word ‘Mahar’ has been uttered by them? That shows the inference which is not unknown in Criminal Jurisprudence that the accused had notion of caste in their minds while committing the offence.
Who was responsible person in Sidhharth’s case ? Surekha. If that was the case, then in the feat of rage they should have killed her suddenly or immediately. But what did they do? They assembled in front of Gram Panchayat , hatched out a conspiracy and eliminated the whole family of Bhotmanges consisting of his two sons , a daughter and his wife.

In Mohadi court in case of Sidhhartha , the assailants were produced before the Magistrate. But they do not plead not to be guilty before him. They seek out the bail with the help of lawyers . They immediately assembled but where that is known  only to the accused themselves.But the word ‘Mahar’ gives credence to the fact that they had committed the crime with the notion of caste in their minds . Mukesh says, Door of  house of Surekha does not open in the direction of road but from its opposite side.  Then Surekha ran away towards the compound which was on the opposite direction of the road.  Then all accused ran after her.  Then accused no. 8 Jagdish  Mandlekar  caught  Surekha.  Then he pulled her hair and dragged her to a nearby drain.  There accused no. 8  Jagdish dipped her in the water of drain for 2-3 times.  Then some persons beaten her by fists and kicks and some beaten her by chains beside the road and killed her there.  She was beaten at he head, hands, legs and back.  Those persons were beating Surekha.  Then accused Jagdish  (No. 8), accused No. 7 Ramu, Accused no. 9 Prabhakar, accused no. 2 Sakru, accused no. 1 Gopal and accused no. 3 Shatrughna and accused No. 6 Vishwanath beaten Surekha.  Then they left the body of Surekha on the road  and shouted to pull out other members of family and to kill them.  When Surekha ran away, accused no. 9 Prabhakar, accused no. 1 Gopal, accused no. 2 Sakru extinguished fire and then ran after her.  After leaving the dead body of Surekha they all shouted to pull and kill others. 

Now, when Surekha was killed , they should have stopped  because she was the person testifying against the accused in Sidhhartha’s case of assault. But that did not happen. What do they do then?

Then Sudhir  Bhotmange came out of his house and he was wearing underwear.  Then Sudhir ran towards Dhusala road through a road in front of his house.  Then all accused ran after him.  Thereafter, I saw that those accused were dragging Sudhir and kept his dead body beside dead body of Surekha.  
 
What was the need of bringing the bodies together? That was only to terrorise the villagers that such things might also happen to them. Such instances we hear during World War II , when the heap of the bodies were mounted together. Then what Roshan says to the assailants, “Those accused persons were shouting to search for others and to kill them.  Then they found  Roshan hiding  in the cattle shed of Ramdas Khandate.  Roshan was telling that he should not be beaten as he did nothing  harm to them.  Such saying had not effect  on accused, they then ran after Roshan.  Accused persons chased Roshan towards hand pump situated in our lane.”

This again shows that the assailants did not spare even the persons who were not the cause of their fury. Now, Mukesh further says, “Those accused who chased Sudhir also chased Roshan.  Roshan went towards bore well.  Those accused killed Roshan near that bore well.  Those accused beaten Roshan by giving blow with sticks and cycle chains and thereby killed him. Thereafter, those accused were searching for Priyanka.  After some time I heard shouts of Priyanka that “Aaiga Meliga”      Such shouts came from a place near bore well.  

                  Then I saw that accused no. 3 Shatrughna and accused no. 7 Ramu were dragging deadbody of Roshan.  I also saw that accused no. 2 Sakru  and accused No. 8 Jaggu were dragging deadbody  of Priyanka.  Other accused  accompanied them.  Those accused brought dead bodies of Roshan and Priyanka and kept same near  deadbody of Sudhir and Surekha.  At that time, the deadbodies of Surekha and Sudhir were kept on Dhusala road.

   When all those deadbodies of deceased persons were kept on Dhusala road, at that time also Roshan was alive.  He was groaning as “Wachava Wachava” (Save save).  Thereafter, accused no. 7 Ramu and accused No. 9 Prabhakar gave threatening that if any one dare to tell anything against them then they will meet the same fate as they done to four persons.  Therefore, I was frightened.  Thereafter, I went inside  my house.  Then I saw that  all the found deadbodies were kept in a bullock-cart.  Accused No. 7 Ramu, accused no. 3 Shatrughna, accused no. 9 Prabhakar, accused no. 2 Sakru  proceeded behind the bullock cart.  The bullock cart proceed towards Kandri village.  Both the bullocks were redish in colour.”  

The whole ocular evidence is with the court. Now, what the criminal justice system has to say ? It says that even a single witness is sufficient to convict the accused provided it is trustworthy and beyond doubt.

(At this stage Hon.Judge interrupts Adv.Khan and asks how much more time he will require to finish his side of arguments . Adv.Khan replies that he will require seven more days to complete his side. On this Hon.Judge adjourns the court till 3:30 for lunch break.)
To be Continued……



One Response to “Khairlanji : Court Proceedings 21st July contd..”

  1. 1 Mr.Kiran Padale

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    While going through the court khairlanji proceedings (above text)the ghastly act by non-dalits is still fresh in minds. Adv.Ujjawal Nikam absence in the proceeding would influence the judgement.Hope muderer gets hardest punishment in the countries judgements so far.
    Kiran


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