Khairlanji killings: Six sentenced to death

September 24, 2008

Six convicts were on Wednesday awarded death sentence by a court in Bhandara in the Khairlanji Dalit murder case in which four members of a family were killed in 2006.

The district and sessions court also awarded life imprisonment for two others convicted in the case on September 15.

Those given death sentence were Sakru Binjewar, Shatrughan Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Ramu Dhande, Jagdish Mandlekar and Prabhakar Mandlekar.

Gopal Binjewar and Shishpal Dhande were awarded life sentence.

CBI’s counsel Ujjwal Nikam expressed satisfaction over the verdict saying it will restore harmony in the society.

The accused were arrested two days after four persons of a Dalit family – Surekha Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, her daughter Priyanka and sons Sudhir and Roshan – were killed on September 29, 2006 over a land dispute in Khairlanji village of the district in Vidarbha.

Surekha’s husband Bhaiyalal is the only surviving member of the family.

The victims were beaten to death and their bodies were thrown into a canal in the village, the prosecution said.

The incident had evoked violent reactions across Maharashtra and drawn flak from various quarters following which the state government had handed over the case to CBI.

Three other accused – Mahipal Dhande, Dharampal Dhande and Purushottam Titarmare – have been acquitted due to lack of evidence.

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