11 people get life sentence for burning Dalit man alive in Gujarat
A court in Gir-Somnath district of Gujarat on Thursday sentenced 11 people to life imprisonment till death for burning a Dalit man alive six years ago.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 54,500 on each of the accused, who were found guilty of killing Lalji Sarvaiya, a Dalit youth of Ankolali village in Una taluka in September 2012.
The judgement was pronounced by Additional District Judge S L Thakkar in Una court, said public prosecutor Mohan Gohil.
Showing no leniency towards the accused, who are behind bars since 2012, the judge termed the case as “rarest of rare”.
None of the convicts will be entitled for remission of sentence, the judge said, thus awarding them a life sentence till death.
Bhana Koli, Babu Koli, Dhiru Koli, Bhikha Koli, Ram Koli, Pancha Koli, Pravin Koli, Hamir Koli, Arjan Koli, Gabhru Koli and Lalji Koli were found guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy, among other charges.
Sarvaiya (27) worked in a stone quarry. His was the only Dalit family in the village.
He had applied for a mining license and some villagers did not want him to get it, said the family’s lawyer Govind Parmar.
“As part of a conspiracy, Dhiru Koli falsely claimed that Sarvaiya had kidnapped his daughter and hid her in his house. On September 13, 2012, Dhiru and others gathered outside Sarvaiya’s house and locked him up,” said Parmar.
As per the charge sheet, the accused persons then poured kerosene and set the house ablaze. Sarvaiya was charred to death.