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Khairlanji killings verdict in June

india Updated: Apr 22, 2010 18:58 IST

A High Court bench in Nagpur completed the hearings in the Khairlanji killing case involving a Dalit family, and closed the matter till the final verdict is delivered on June 15.

A division bench of Justice A P Lawande and Justice R C Chavan heard the case on a daily basis till Wednesday and said the ruling will be pronounced on June 15.

Four members of a Dalit family, including housewife Surekha Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, teenaged daughter Priyanka, and sons Sudhir and Roshan were brutally murdered by a village mob on September 29, 2007. Family head Bhaiyalal managed to flee.

A special court of S S Dass in Bhandara on September 24, 2008 found the eight accused guilty and awarded capital punishment to six while two were awarded life imprisonment.

Those facing death sentence include Sakru Binjawar, Ramu Dhande, Shatraghan Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Jagnish Mandlekar and Prabhakar Mandlekar. Gopal Binjawar and Shishupal Dhande were given life imprisonment.

Three other accused Mahipal Dhande, Dharmpal Dhande and Purushottam Titarmare were let off due to lack of evidence.

The CBI filed an appeal against the acquittal of all eight accused under the provisions of The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 as the victims were from a Dalit family.

The CBI contended that the trial court should have considered evidence of sexual abuse of Surekha and Priyanka against the accused. Defence contended that the main witness Siddharth Gajbhiye was falsely implicating villagers with oblique motives.