Thirteen more accused of the Khairlangi Dalit massacre were granted bail by the Bhandara district court on Tuesday. With this, as many as 23 persons, who were charged with the murders of four members of a Dalit family, were released on bail by the court.
The Bhandara court released 13 accused on the surety of Rs 25,000 in cash or solvency of the same amount. The accused have been directed by the court not to leave Khairlangi village without prior permission of the police station concerned. Earlier, 10 accused of the case were granted bail by the court on Saturday.
Four members of Bhotmange family — Surekha, her daughter, Priyanka, sons Rahul and Sudhir — were mercilessly butchered by a group of villagers at Khairlangi, some 100 kms from Nagpur in Bhandara district, on September 29.
Only Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, husband of Surekha and head of the family, survived in the mob attack.
It was alleged that Khairlangi tragedy could have been averted had the administration and the police been sensitive and taken timely action. The incident sparked violent protests in various parts of the state and the state government finally handed over the probe to the CBI.
The district police and the state CID, the then investigation agencies, arrested 46 villagers including the sarpanch Upasrao Khandate and deputy sarpanch, Urkunda Khurpe of Khairlangi.
However, the CBI which filed the chargesheet before the court a few days ago framed only 11 villagers in the murder case while found several of them innocent.
Both, the sarpanch and his deputy were not figured in the CBI list of accused, and hence they also got the bail from the court on Tuesday, according to reports reaching Nagpur on Wednesday.
The state government had taken action against as many as eight senior officials, including the civil surgeon of the district and a Dy SP. Moreover, the state government provided a monetary compensation of Rs 12.5 lakh and a job to the victim, Bhaiyyalal, the lone surviour of the Bhotmanage family.
Email Pradip Kumar Maitra: pradipmaitra @hindustantimes.com