The Yashvantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) committee report wants an inquiry against all government officers concerned with the Khairlanji massacre under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 (POA). Four members of a Dalit family were thrashed and murdered on September 29 in this Bhandara district village.
The YASHADA committee report states the police not only neglected phone calls when the incident took place, but also failed to take action when a FIR was registered. It states that the guilty officers be denied all service benefits. It also recommends that all atrocities against Dalits be “viewed and dealt with on par with terrorism, and provisions of POTA should be extended to such atrocities”.
Ratnakar Gaikwad, Director General of YASHADA commissioned Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Institute Research & Training Institute, Department of Social Justice and the Centre for Equity and Social Justice (a wing of YASHADA) to look into the Khairlanji killings. A team of six researchers visited Khairlanji last month and submitted a report to the government on November 10. The team conducted over 20 interviews and has photographs and video clippings.
“District authorities remained aloof and indifferent, allowing the crime to take place,” the report states, adding that the Director General of Police (DGP) did not find it necessary to visit Khairlanji even after Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil visited the village.
DGP Dr PS Pasricha however dismissed the charges saying he had not paid much attention to the report. “Not one but two of my DGP’s have visited Khairlanji. The DGP who looks after law and order and the DGP who especially handles cases relating to Dalit atrocities have both visited the spot. When such senior police officials have visited the spot, I see no reason on this insistence on a visit by the DG.”
Pankaj Gupta, Special IG (Anti-Naxal Operations), said: “I do not know who constituted this committee. I was not even contacted. If my seniors ask, I will give them an explanation.”
(With inputs from Sarita Kaushik)