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PCC opposes to shift dalit people

The Khairlangi episode has taken a curious turn when the BJP leader Gopinath Munde insisted that two neo-Buddhist families, be rehabilitated elsewhere. Pradip Kumar Maitra reports.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 17:31 IST

The Khairlangi episode has taken a curious turn when the BJP leader Gopinath Munde insisted that two neo-Buddhist families, who are living in the village under scare, be rehabilitated elsewhere.

On the other hand, the Congress feels that such a situation could be avoided and both the families are kept in the village with police protection. The PCC chief Prabha Rau said, "This is not the solution. This will affect the social fabric of the society."

Talking to Hindustan Times, Rau said that it would be dangerous trend if colonies and villages are made on caste line. Such a move should be discouraged," she added.

Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, the lone survivour of the Bhotmange family has moved to a relative’s place in another village in Bhandara district. Bhotmange made it clear that he would not return to the village. The state government has offered him a government job and agriculture land elsewhere. This has prompted other two neo-Buddhist families to shift elsewhere in the wake of brutal killings of four members of Bhotmange family on September 29.

Members of both the families met Munde at Khairlangi on Tuesday when the BJP leader went there to take first-hand information about the tragedy. Munde told HT on Wednesday that he personally felt that both the families be shifted elsewhere. "They are scared after the incident and don’t want to stay there anymore. I will take up the issue with the chief minister soon," he informed.

A group of villagers at Khairlangi had mercilessly thrashed Surekha, wife of Bhaiyyalal, his daughter, Priyanka, sons Roshan and Sudhir on September 29 and hacked them to death. The upper caste Hindus in the village were annoyed with Bhotmange family for not parting with their agriculture land which they wanted for a road.

The investigating agency had arrested as many as 47 villagers in this connection, including the sarpanch of the village, Upasrao Khandate and his deputy Urkuda Khurpe and four women. The state government also dismissed eight officials, including five police personnel in this connection. Interestingly, almost all these government officials are Dalit. The upsarpanch of the village, Urkuda Khurpe, who was arrested for conspiracy, murder and rioting, is from tribal community.

Meanwhile, the CBI inquiry to investigation the incident has already begun. A team of around 50 CBI personnel, led by the  joint director of the central agency, Vivek Dube are camping at Khairlangi to investigate the matter.

Email Pradip Kumar Maitra: pradipmaitra@hindustantimes.com