Six Khairlanji murder accused to hang, life for two (Lead)September 24th, 2008 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS
Bhandara (Maharashtra), Sep 24 (IANS) Ending intense nationwide speculation, the trial court here Wednesday slapped death sentence on six of the eight convicts in the sensational Khairlanji Dalit murder case while ordering life imprisonment for the remaining two.The six convicts found guilty of brutally murdering four members of a Dalit family in Khairlanji village of Maharashtra’s Bhandara district are Sakru Mahagu Binjewar, Shatrughan Issam Dhande, Vishwanath Hagru Dhande, Ramu Mangru Dhande, Jagdish Ratan Mandlekar and Prabhakar Jaswant Mandlekar.
The two sentenced for life imprisonment are Shishupal Vishwanath Dhande and Gopal Sakru Binjewar.
A frenzied mob of about 50 villagers attacked the house of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, a Dalit farmer Sep 29, 2006 evening and lynched four members of his family including his wife Surekha, young daughter Priyanka and two sons Sudhir and Roshan.
While the Central Bureau of Investigation handling the case had filed the charge-sheet only against 11 of the original 47 accused and discharged 36, the court had acquitted Purushottam Titirmare, Mahipal Dhande and Dharampal Dhande in its ruling Sep 15.
The court had also dropped the charges of atrocity and conspiracy against the accused.
On Sep 20, the first ad hoc sessions judge S.S. Dass had heard the arguments on the quantum of sentence from both sides in which special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had demanded death sentence for all eight convicts for the ‘frozen blooded’ murder while defence lawyers Sudip Jaiswal and Neeraj Khandewale had pleaded for leniency in view of the convicts’ clean past record.
While Khandewale and Jaiswal said they would challenge the verdict in the appellate court, the reaction of Nikam could not be immediately known.