Khairlanji: Court Proceedings on 22nd July ’08

11Aug08

The court assembles at 12:25 P.M. Adv.Khan rises to continue his arguments.

Adv.Khan: Sir, in this case we are corroborating the evidence of Mukesh Pusam. He says,

“On that day I went to my field at about 10.00 a.m. and returned back at 5.00 p.m.   On that day at about 6.00 to 6.30 p.m. I stood at the front side courtyard of our house  to give fodder to cattle.  Then I heard shout of accused Jagdish Mandlekar (accused no. 8).  I then looked into the directions from where that shouts was emanated.  I then found that 10-12 persons in front of house of Surekha Bhotmange. Out of them I identified 7 persons at that time.  Those persons were Jagdish Mandlekar, Shatrughna Dhande, Ramu Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Prabhakar Mandlekar, Shakru Binjewar and Gopal Binjewar.  Those persons were standing on the road in front of house of Bhaiyalal Bhotmange.  Jagdish Mandlekar was then shouting “Sali Madarchod, Gharabaher Nigh, Aamchi Nave Police Patil Sidharth Gahjbhiyela Sangitali Aani Report Davayala Lawali”.  Those persons were giving abuses.  (Sali Madarchod come out of your house.  You told our names to Police Patil Sidharth Gajbhiye and got lodged the complaint).   They were shouting “Mahar Lok Majlele Aahet Tyana Gharabaher Kadha Aani Marun Taka.” (Mahar community people became arrogant and they be pulled out and be killed).Then I noticed that Surekha came out of house and pulled one half burnt log from the domestic furness and set fire to cattle shed.  To terorrise those accused, she did so.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.  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”

Now, sir all the material points are corroborated by the testimony of the witness.Now, please refer the cross-examination of Mukesh,

“.  I did  not tell to CID, CBI and Judicial Magistrate that accused were telling that “Mahar Lok Majlele Ahet Tyana Ghara Bahet Kadha Aani Marun Taka”. 

It is clear that they were throwing the casteist  abuses , remarks may be different but the meaning is same.In the cross-examination of the defence , they had  taken the shelter under the defence of darkness. But they have not said that  the accused did not do it nor there was any suggestion to that effect. Ironically, they gave absurd suggestion of physical relationship between Surekha and Sidhhartha . They  even gave the weird suggestion of the relations between the her , bidi workers and petty thieves . They did not cross – examine the witness on the point of accused holding the sticks & cycle chains.What was the foundation of their story that Sidhhartha , Bidi workers and petty thieves  had relationship with her? Nothing.Do they want  to suggest that , the accused disposed the bodies of the victims after those were killed by the thieves ? Absolutely, no cross-examination challenges my case.   Why so many villagers who encircled  the house of  the victims did not come forward to tell that they were thieves? They contended that Surekha used to cook mutton for the thieves.This is absurd suggestion. No man of reason will believe such non-sense things.This is the fig of imagination.They do not have any evidence for that. Moreoever, there is no meat shop in the village of Khairlanji . There was nobody to challenge that fact from the defence.

Now , on the question of Surekha being a quarrelsome lady. If Surekha quarrels with other women , does that give them the license to kill her? What is the basis of this? But what happened on 29/9/06, they are silent on this fact.Accused Vishvanath Dhande and witness , Dinesh Dhande has adjoining borders of their fields and 1-2 times quarrel took place between them.But then why he  revealed the names of the other accused along with Vishvanath Dhande?Could he give graphic details of  other persons if that was the reason for his deposition in this court? Now, on the question of telling about the incident to higher police officers or to Chief Minister. Does such thing is expected from him? Simple Indians want to ward off such unnecessary involvement with such matters of crime.

About the identification parade by C.I.D.- Identification is done to ascertain the identity of the unknown.But the offenders were not strangers but his co-villageres. This was done only to scuttle the investigation by C.I.D. In such parade , the witness is confronted with the accused, the eye contact is set up between them.The image of the witness is imprinted in the memory of the accused.The next step to is that , after the accused get bail after 30 days, they commit more crimes.The indirect & implicit threat is given by the police that  you will be implicated if you do  depose in our favour.And what statement did the witness give during M.C.R. or P.C.R. ? He could not narrate to the police in such situation since his father was also in the same prison.

About statement of Dinesh Dhande to S.D.P.O. u/s 161. – (Reads through the statement of Dinesh Dhande) he says lastly in his statement that his name must not be  disclosed. Why he said this ? It is implicit in the police statement that the witness’s name is kept secret. What is the need ot adding such statement by the witness for his concealment of his name? Because , there was lurking fear in his mind of his elimination by the accused.

( Adv.Khan reads throught the statemet of Mukesh Pusam’s police statement.)

‘’ There were Jagdish Mandlekar, Shatrughna Dhande, Ramu Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Prabhakar Mandlekar, Shakru Binjewar and Gopal Binjewar and 40-50 others standing in front of Bhotmange’s house.”

There is no contradiction in this. Had he said that there were bidi workers and thieves in front of his house , it would have been understandable. But that he did not say . So, where is the contradiction? (Here Hon.Judge  intervenes )

Judge: But there is the contradiction about the place of seeing the incident.

Adv.Khan: It is more important what he saw than viewing it from the ground or his attique. And did he say differently what he stated by seeing the incident from the ground? The defence do not deny that he saw the incident.

About Time of Incident – That is also not a contradiction . The witness does not record the exact time of the incident. It would have been contradiction had the witness said that incident occurred in the morning instead of in the evening.

Darkness is the important defence. But why the defence did not come out with the statement that witness did not see the incident.

(At this stage the court is adjourned for the lunch – break till 3:30 P.M.)

TO BE CONTINUED……



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