Anguished over "delay" by Maharashtra government and CBI in moving the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court's verdict in the Khairlanji Dalit killing case, the only survivor of the incident today said he would move the apex court.
"I will appoint a well-known lawyer and move the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court verdict which was totally unexpected and unfortunate," Bhaiyalal Bhotmange told reporters.
Bhotmange, whose wife, two sons and a daughter were killed in the incident, said he wanted all the 11 accused, including three who were acquitted in the case by the sessions court, to be awarded death penalty.
Although the sessions court had punished eight accused in the case, they were acquitted under Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST Act. Bhotmange said "I will challenge this aspect also. I will also press molestation charges, which were not included so far, against the culprits," he said.
"I met Chief Minister Ashok Chavan today to know the government's stand on moving the SC in the case. However, I was just told that CBI which probed the case will move the court. The government is not paying heed to my plea," Bhotmange alleged.
"I do not know when CBI will move the court but I have decided to go to the apex court independently seeking justice," he said.
Four members of the Bhotmange family -- Surekha Bhaiyalal, her daughter Priyanka, sons Sudhir and Roshan --were brutally killed by a mob at Khairlanji village on September 29, 2006, over a land dispute with upper castes, provoking violent protests across the state.
Six people, accused of killing children, were given death sentence by a sessions court in September, 2008. Another two were sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Bhotmange's wife while three others were acquitted.
The Bombay High Court later commuted the death sentence of six convicts to 25 years imprisonment and fixed a similar period for two others serving life term.