Rohidas gone, Atrocities Continue; Lower Court’s Inefficient Judgement, an Order of the Day
Rohidas Tupe was stoned to death by the Castiest hooligans last week. He belonged to ex-untouchable, Mang community from Pal Taluka, Fulambari Dist rict of Aurangabad
Recent result of Session’s court over the heinous atrocity is :
Seven people, including three women, were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment for lynching a Dalit youth at Phulamri taluka of Aurangabad district in February 2009. Sixty-three suspects were acquitted for lack of evidence.
The brutal murder of Rohidas Pandit Tupe (21), who was accused of teasing and stalking an 18-year-old upper caste girl, had sent shockwaves across the state, leading to protests at many places. Additional district and sessions judge R R Kadam also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on the convicts, failing to pay which would mean additional six months of simple imprisonment. “The four male convicts have also been sentenced to two months of rigorous imprisonment and told to pay a fine of Rs 200 each for obstructing government servants from doing duty, failing to pay which would mean a month’s simple imprisonment . Both the sentences will run concurrently,” additional public prosecutor Rajendra Mugdia.
The convicts – Dnyaneshwar Tejrao Jadhav, Santosh Ambadas Jadhav, Chhotu Suryabhan Jadhav, Sachin Chandrakant Jadhav (all in the 20-25 age group) – were in prison ever since their arrest in February 2009. The women convicts – Vijubai Jadhav (36), Rukmanbai Jadhav (75) and Kusumbai Jadhav (65) -were taken into custody soon after the judgment as they had been granted bail.The Phulamri police had arrested 75 people from Pal village , including three minors . Two of the suspects died while investigations were in progress. Later, the investigation into the case was handed over to criminal investigation department (CID) following a high court order. The CID filed a charge sheet against 70 people. “On the afternoon of February 23, 2009, the village police patil Chhagan Ramlal Reswal had spotted the four male convicts beating Rohidas, who worked at a private company in Aurangabad , while accusing him of harassing a girl for two years. They asked Reswal not to intervene and dragged the youth to Shivaji chowk in the village. They also accuse him of being armed with a knife and threatening and chasing the girl, who had come out to participate in the Mahashivratri programme that afternoon . Reswal informed the police beat marshal about the incident. Four to five policemen rushed to the spot, where over 100 people had gathered. The accused threatened them and told them to stay away from the place.” Mugdia said.
Additional police force, led by senior officers, came to the place but it was too late. The youth was stripped, tied to an electricity pole and was brutally beaten up. He had sustained serious wounds. While the male members were beating up the youth, the three women too joined them, Mugdia said. “Vijubai sprinkled salt and chilli powder on Rohidas’ wounds, Rukmanbai poured kerosene on him. When Rohidas cried for water , Kusumbai took water from a drain in her chappal and pushed it into his mouth. The victim’s younger brother, Raju, and cousin Samadhan, the main witnesses , narrated the whole incident to the police,” Mugdia said. Rohidas was first taken to a primary health centre in Phulamri in an unconscious state and subsequently referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital at Aurangabad , where the doctors declared him dead on arrival, said Mugdia.
The prosecution examined 43 witnesses, out of which 19, including the main complainant and the village police patil Reswal and his wife, turned hostile. Even three close relatives of the victim turned hostile, said Mugdia.
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