Khairlanji verdict blind to dalit cause

Brinda Karat

Four years ago, Surekha Bhotmange, a dalit woman farmer living in the village of Khairlanji in Maharashtra was brutally killed along with her two sons, Roshan, the visually handicapped Sudhir and her 18-year-old daughter Priyanka. Her husband Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange escaped. The method of killing was brutal. Each was hunted down and beaten to death by a mob of men belonging to the dominant caste in the village. Recently, the Nagpur bench of the Mumbai High Court gave its judgment in the case. It held that caste had nothing to do with the killings. It agreed with the judgment of the sessions court on the non-applicability of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) (POA). If Khairlanji was a shame and disgrace to our nation and our Constitution, the judgment adds another chapter to it. [Read more]