Three Dalit men accused of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old school girl last year at Kopardi in Maharashtra were attacked with lethal weapons by four men on Ahmednagar court premises around noon on Saturday.
The victim in the Kopardi rape and murder case belonged to Maratha community and the crime triggered massive protests across Maharashtra.
The three accused — Jitendra Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Bhailume — were attacked with sickles when they were being brought to the court for hearing, said a police source. One constable was injured in trying to stop the attackers, the source added. Police arrested the four attackers after a brief chase and confiscated the weapons they were carrying.
Police identified the attackers as Rajendra Patil, Baburao Walekar, Pramod Khane and Ganesh Khane. All four are reportedly from Beed district in Marathwada region.
This is the second instance of people trying to attack the accused in the case. Less than two weeks after the girl, a Class 8 student, was gang raped and murdered when she was on her way home from her grandfather’s house, a group of women activists had tried to attack two of the suspects