The heads continued to roll after the Khairlangi incident as the State Government now suspended Bhandara police prosecutor, Leena Gajbhiye for misleading the police while registering first information report (FIR), which had led to unrest among Dalits in all over the state recently.
It was alleged that when Siddhartha Gajbhiye, a distance relative of affected Bhotmange family, was attacked by the villagers on September 3, she advised the police not to apply the sections of the Atrocity Act.
That was the reason for the accused getting bails and their subsequent attack on the Bhotmange family to take a revenge for complaining against them with the police.
Four members of Bhotmange family—Surekha, her daughter Priyanka, sons, Roshan and Sudhir - were mercilessly butchered by a group of villagers at Khairlangi village in Bhandara district on September 29.
It all began with a small incident that occurred on September 3 this year. The villagers of Khairlangi beat up Siddharth Gajbhiye. Villagers suspected that he had illicit relations with Surekha, wife of Bhaiyyalal, now the lone survivor of the family.
Gajbhiye somehow managed to escape and reached Kamptee near Nagpur where he got himself admitted to a hospital. He also filed a complaint with the Kamptee police station, which was later, transferred to Andhalgaon police station. The complaint was registered and an FIR was lodged against the villagers.
As Gajbhiye did not know names of the villagers, the Bhotmange family members—particularly his wife, Surekha and daughter Priyanka told the facts to police during the investigation; and named the villagers who beat up Gajbhiye.
Subsequently, all of them were arrested on September 28 and later released on bail, as the police did not book them under the Atrocity Act as suggested by Ms Gajbhiye.
It was said that the irate villagers returned to Khairlangi and went straight to Bhotmange’s house and brutally killed the family members.
The CBI had arrested 47 villagers in this connection so far, including the sarpanch of the village, Upasrao Khandate and his deputy Urkuda Khurpe and four women.
The latest toll of the incident, the police prosecutor, Leena is from dalit community. Ironically, all the top officials related to the case are also from the Dalit community but they reportedly gave false reports.
From IGP of Nagpur range, Ashok Dhivre to Bhandara SP Suresh Sagar and from the Dy SP of the area, Vinayak Susadkar to Anghalgaon police station in-charge, Siddheshwar Bharne and medical officer, Dr AJ Shende all belong to the same community.
Even the beat head constable, Baban Meshram is a tribal and then civil surgeon of the district, Dr KD Ramteke, is also from the SC category. The state government had already dismissed eight government officials, including Susadkar and Bharne. Besides, Dr Shende and the civil surgeon, Dr Ramteke were suspended.