A rivalry between two groups that took an ugly turn and cost a man’s life has now led to life imprisonment for 21 people from a village in Nagpur. The incident took place in Badegaon village of Saoner Taluka in Nagpur on October 26, 2002.
According to the defence advocate, Jay N Gandhi, the incident took place right after the Gram Panchayat elections. “There were two rival groups of Deshmukhs and Samta clan which had contested the elections,” Gandhi said.
The Deshmukh group had won five seats while the Samtas had won four. “The prosecution's case was that the Deshmukhs had taunted the rival group for having won one less seat than them. The taunt had angered the Samtas,” Gandhi told Hindustan Times from Nagpur.
Later that evening when Ashok Deshmukh was returning home, he was attacked by a group of about 30 people, the prosecution alleged. The attackers lynched Ashok and he died of his injuries. Two others accompanying Ashok, Vilas Bhaurao Deshmukh and Vivek Deshmukh, survived the attack.
“According to the case papers, there was no power in the village and there was a heavy police bandobast,” Gandhi added.
The case trial started more than four years ago. The prosecution examined 28 witnesses and defence examined five witnesses. The court tried the 30 accused and found 21 of them guilty. Additional District Sessions Judge P.L. Dhale has sentenced those convicted to life imprisonment. Nine of the accused were acquitted. “Some of these include men who are as more than 70 years old,” Gandhi said. Gandhi added that that he was preparing an appeal to the high court soon against the lower court’s order.