The much-publicised Khairlangi Dalit massacre and its aftermath have shaken up the state machinery. After transferring the Bhandara superintendent of police, Suresh Sagar, the state government has now suspended civil surgeon of the district Dr KD Ramteke for alleged carelessness in handling the autopsy of the victims.
It was claimed that Dr Ramteke, instead of sending a senior doctor along with a lady medical officer, sent a junior doctor for the post-mortem of four members of Bhotmange family, who were mercilessly butchered at Kairlangi village in Bhandara district in September.
The Mantralaya in Mumbai sent Dr Ramteke’s suspension order on Tuesday morning. The development has vindicated the allegations of different organisations that the post-mortem was handled in a slipshod manner.
Earlier, the state government suspended the sub-divisional police officer, Vinayak Susadkar, the police station-in-charge of Andhalgaon, Siddheshwar Bharne, the medical officer, Dr AJ Shende, the in-charge of Khairlangi police beat, head constable, Baban Meshram.
The police also registered cases against the police prosecutor Lata Gajbhiye for advising the cops not to impose sections of atrocity act on the accused.
Incidentally, Ashok Dhivare, the Inspector General of police (IG) of Nagpur range, where Bhandara district falls, the then SP, Suresh Sagar, his deputy Susadkar, the police Prosecutor Gajbhiye, the Police Sub Inspector (PSI) of local police station, Bharne, head constable Baban Meshram and the Medical Officer Dr AJ Shende, who made the first post-mortem and submitted the report saying Surekha and Priyanka Bhotmange were not raped, were from Dalit community.
Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange’s wife Surekha, daughter Priyanka, and sons Roshan and Sudhir were hacked to death and thrown into a ditch, only because the family did not part with their land which the upper caste villagers wanted for a road on September 29.
The issue became heated and different parts of the state, particularly Vidarbha tensed over protests of the killings. Large-scale violent activities were also witnessed in the region in the last fortnight.
Meanwhile, Dr Ramteke was not available for comments.