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Khairlanji: Insensitivity of Mahar Officers

The Khairlanji incident of 29 September 2006 in which a mob of caste Hindus lynched the entire family of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange shamed humanity, but justice has remained elusive. A majority of the police and medical officers, across ranks, handling the case, were dalits. But they showed a negligent attitude towards their official duties and social indifference to the plight of the Bhotmange family. The Nodal Officers, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, recorded the attitude, particularly of the civil surgeon and the district superintendent of police to be "aloof and indifferent to allowing the crime and subsequent manipulation of evidence".


Khairlanji: Insensitivity of Mahar Officers

S M Dahiwale

Since the officers are the beneficiaries of the protective discrimination policies enshrined in the Constitution they have a double responsibility – one legal and the other moral/social. Therefore, while discharging their duties their response to the complaint, the time taken for action, their

The Khairlanji incident of 29 September 2006 in which a mob of caste Hindus lynched the entire family of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange shamed humanity, but justice has remained elusive. A majority of the police and medical officers, across ranks, handling the case, were dalits. But they showed a negligent attitude towards their official duties and social indifference to the plight of the Bhotmange family. The Nodal Officers, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, recorded the attitude, particularly of the civil surgeon and the district superintendent of police to be “aloof and indifferent to allowing the crime and subsequent manipulation of evidence”.

I would like to thank Pradeep Meshram for his help and my daughters Rohini and Lumbini, who are both doctors, for their clarification on certain medical issues.

S M Dahiwale ( was formerly with the Sociology Department of Pune University.

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n September 2008 the Bhandara sessions court sentenced to death the six accused in what is now infamous as the Khairlanji massacre case, awarding two others life imprisonment and acquitting three others for lack of evidence. Though the court found no evidence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (henceforth, the Atrocity Act), dalit leaders and activists welcomed the awarding of the death penalty after a speedy trial.

On 29 September 2006 four members of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange’s family – his wife Surekha, daughter Priyanka and sons Roshan and Sudhir – were hacked to death by a mob consisting of Other Backward Class (OBC) members in Khairlanji village. The refusal of the Bhotmange family to be servile towards the upper castes, their insistence on educating their children and their ambition to do better was not looked upon kindly by their neighbours. Bhaiyyalal’s complaint to the police was treated lightly and there were a number of irregularities that follo wed. Questions were raised as to whether the concerned officers in the district, particularly, the police sub-inspector, the public prosecutor, the civil surgeon and the doctor performed their duties responsibly. Coincidentally, all these offi cers are also dalits. The case, therefore, is examined from the social justice viewpoint.

Anand Teltumbde (EPW, 24 March 2007) busts the myths that economic development had eradicated the caste system in the state, that bahujanwad (movement for the masses) was growing and that the dalit bureaucracy ensured justice to their fellow-dalits. I am confining myself entirely to a discussion on the role of the officers who dealt with the Khairlanji massacre case and the failure of the Ambedkarite leadership to deliver justice to its own people.

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initiative in mobilising the staff, and their general attitude have all been considered in view of their insensitivity.

1 A Series of Quarrels

On that fateful day in Khairlanji, Surekha, 44, and her daughter Priyanka, 17, studying in the XIIth standard were paraded and gang-raped (this is a disputed issue and the court did not charge the accused on this count), and the genitals of the two sons, Roshan, 19 and Sudhir, 21 were crushed with stones. Priyanka’s naked body was found the next day. According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Surekha was dragged, stripped and beaten with sticks and bicycle chains. Her daughter and two young sons were dragged and done to death in a similar manner by the mob. The CBI filed a chargesheet against the 11 accused for their role in the killings. One report said that after Priyanka’s death, the taluka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bhaskar Kadav raped her (Khairlanji Action Committee (KAC) 2006: 4).1 One report quotes an anonymous policeman as saying that: “The marau ders had pushed sticks into their private parts” (www.sabrang. com/kherlanji/reports.pdf). All four bodies were found in the neighbouring area of Vadegaon. Earlier, on 28 February, the body of a dalit (Buddhist) college student from the same village was found in a nearby canal a little away from the Tarsa railway station. His killers have not been traced as yet.

Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange hails from Ambagarh village, taluka Tumsar in Bhandara district, 25 kms from Khairlanji. His father had purchased five acres of land from Domaji Bhimate in 1952 and used to occasionally give it for cultivation to a sharecropper. This land was used as a common passage by the villagers whenever it was left uncultivated. In 1982, Bhaiyyalal married Surekha, and from 1989 onwards the family started developing the land for cultivation.


The first of the many quarrels with the villagers began in 2001 when Shivshankar Aatilkar’s animals entered Bhaiyyalal’s farm and destroyed the standing crop. After Bhaiyyalal lodged a complaint with the local police station, Shivshankar with the help of some villagers went to his house and threatened to kill the complainant and his family. Shivshankar was acquitted in the case for lack of evidence. In 2002, Ambilal Khurpe and Ishwar Aatilkar created a dispute over the common passage since their lands were on the other side of Bhaiyyalal’s land. The taluka land measurement inspector intervened and ensured that a 15-feet wide passage was left open through the Bhotmange farm. But the quarrel did not end there. While using the passage the villagers started destroying the crop. Once, both Bhaiyyalal and his wife were abused and threatened with death. The accused were once again let off by the taluka court. The village sarpanch Upasrao Khandate had also threatened Bhaiyyalal’s family with death.

Khairlanji is a village of 161 houses dominated by Kunbis (peasants) and Kallars (distillers), who are members of the OBCs, and includes 10 Gond adivasi families and three Buddhist familes (dalits). It has a total population of 787 people, excluding Bhaiyyalal’s house and his family because the villagers did not permit him to construct a house. Once when Bhaiyyalal tried to construct a house the then deputy sarpanch Prakash Kadhav came with other villagers and destroyed the construction. The family was since living in a makeshift loosely built structure of bricks without an electricity connection. Besides, the villagers did not allow Bhaiyyalal to use the canal water during the day.


In May 2006, one Yogesh Titarmare tried to molest Priyanka and this was immediately reported to Siddharth Gajbhiye, a cousin of Bhaiyyalal’s wife, who was living at Dhusala, a village just four km away from Khairlanji. Siddharth is a landlord and owns 50 acres of irrigated land. He is also a licensed kerosene seller and police patil of his village. Siddharth came to Khairlanji soon after he was informed of the molestation attempt and went to Yogesh’s home to warn him.

The villagers did not like the fact that the Bhotmange family was getting timely help from Siddharth. According to the CBI report, on 3 September 2006 Sakru Binjewar had demanded wages for his wife’s work on Siddharth’s farm. In the altercation that followed, Siddharth slapped Sakru inside Bhaiyyalal’s house. In the evening of the same day, Sakru and his friends thrashed him in front of both Surekha and Priyanka. In the police complaint, both the women implicated 15 people against whom they had an axe to grind when actually only four people had assaulted Siddharth (www. 200612/00119/htm).

Siddharth’s younger brother Rajendra took him to a hospital where he underwent treatment for three days. The Andhalgaon police sub-inspector (PSI) Siddheshwar Bharane declined to register Rajendra’s complaint (KAC 2006: 10). Anyway, since the hospital had informed the Kamptee police, the case was transferred to the Andhalgaon police station. Later, the Andhalgaon police went to Khairlanji to record Surekha and Priyanka Bhotmange’s statement on 14 September and Bharane registered the complaint on 16 September. Since the police did not register the complaint under the Atrocity Act they did not arrest the accused (FIR No 52/06).

The police station officer, Andhalgaon sent the case papers on 21 September to the assistant public prosecutor (APP) Leena Gajbhiye (Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal, OA No 600/2006). The APP gave her opinion on 25 September saying that Sections 7 (b), (c) and (d) of the Protection of Civil Rights Act be added along with the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but she did not ask that the Atrocity Act be invoked. In the presence of a number of people three of the accused – sarpanch Upasrao Khandate, deputy sarpanch Khurpe and Bhaskar Kadav – declared that they would kill the Bhotmange family (YASHADA 2006: 19). Rashtrapal Narnavare, Surekha’s nephew from Varathi in Mohadi taluka, revealed that Bharane had tried to get him to withdraw the complaint saying that the accused had the support of the local MLA and MP (ibid: 14). The 12 accused were arrested and released on bail on 29 September following which they went to Kandri to beat up Rajendra. However, he managed to escape safely.

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The accused then reached Khairlanji around 6 pm. Priyanka had rushed to Dhusala to warn her relatives that the villagers might attack them. Meanwhile, the villagers marched to Bhotmange’s house with weapons. Bhaiyyalal was working on his farm and saw a mob of 60-70 people including a few women with weapons attacking his home. The mob dragged Priyanka out and took her to an adjoining cattle shed where it is alleged that she was raped. (Though newspaper reports quoted fact finding committees as saying that both mother and daughter were raped, the Bhandara sessions court did not invoke Section 354 – assault or criminal force with intent to outrage the modesty of a woman or Section 375 – that deals with rape – of the IPC.) The mob also mutilated Roshan and Sudhir’s genitals and the nude bodies of the victims were taken in a procession through the village (ibid: 19-20). In panic, Bhaiyyalal ran to Siddharth for help who, in turn, infor med the police about the attack on his cell phone. The police constable Dongare, a Buddhist, attended his call but sub-inspector Bharane refused to register a complaint when Bhaiyyalal and Siddarth’s son reached the police station.

Negligent Attitude

An assistant inspector Baban Meshram and a constable Kawale who witnessed the attack reported to sub-inspector Bharane. The distance between Khairlanji and the Andhalgaon police station is just 10 kms. The accused were only arrested a month after the attack despite the fact that the district superintendent of police Suresh Sagar (Khobragade) is a nephew of Rajubhau Khobragade, the late leader of the Republican Party of India and belongs to the same Mahar caste as the Bhotmange family. Both the district magistrate (DM) and the additional DM belong to the

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scheduled tribes (ST). When the KAC workers met the Inspector General of Police of the Nagpur Range, Ashok Dhiware (again a Buddhist dalit), to demand immediate action and justice for the Bhotmange family, he indicated that he considered his job more important than the interests of the community (ibid: 16).

The police brought Priyanka’s body (found naked in a canal in the Shivani area the next day) to the primary health centre (PHC), Mohadi for post-mortem. Manisha Banthe, the doctor there, a niece of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Nana Panchabuddhe from Bhandara, refused to perform the post-mortem. The accused are Panchabuddhe’s relatives. Another doctor, Avinash Shende, who was on a one-year contract performed the post-mortem and her body was handed over to her father Bhaiyyalal. Bharane, the deputy superintendent of police Susatkar and the police staff present there put pressure on Bhaiyyalal and his relatives to bury the body immediately. They gave in to the pressure and buried Priyanka at Deulgaon, late on 30 September. On 1 October, the police found the other three bodies at some distance from where Priyanka’s body was found. Surekha’s body bore wounds made by sharp weapons and her face was badly mutilated. The bodies of the two boys too bore wounds.

Two organisations, the Social Justice Organisation (SJO) and the KAC were formed to campaign for justice for the Bhotmange family and the dalit community. Formed in Bhandara on 4 October by the Buddhist supporters of the NCP, the SJO submitted a statement to the district superintendent of police, Bhandara demanding that the post-mortem be conducted again, and accusing the medical officers at Mohadi of negligence while examining the bodies. Shende did not preserve the viscera for a chemical analysis, vaginal swabs were not taken and the victims’ clothes were not sealed for further laboratory examination.

Following insistent demands, the subdivisional magistrate ordered the exhumation of the two women’s bodies (The Hindu, 19 Novem ber 2006). The second post-mortem was done by B K Meshram, N isha Bhavasar and Wankhede. The Congress MLA from Nagpur, Nitin Raut was

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present when it was performed on 5 October (KAC 2006: 14). Although the bodies were badly decomposed Priyanka’s uterus was sent for forensic examination.

The main witness Siddharth Gajbhiye in the Khairlanji killings alleged that the members of the social justice organisation were traitors. He maintained that both the NCP MLA Nana Panchabuddhe and the BJP MLA Madhukar Kukde (from Bhandara and Tumsar, respectively) played a crucial role in the acquittal of the accused, some of whom are related to them. In this they were helped by some “so-called Ambedkarites”, he added (ibid: 10). He mentioned the names of Deelip Ukey, Vinayak Shende, Manoj Bagade, Aasit Bagade, Madhukar Rangari and one Bhavasar from Tumsar (all Buddhists) who were NCP workers and loyal to Panchabuddhe.

On 12 November, with the help of the Bhandara DSP Suresh Sagar (Khobragade), the civil surgeon of the Bhandara District General Hospital Kashinath Ramteke detained Bhaiyyalal in a hospital room thus preventing him from accompanying the KAC to meet the prime minister and seek intervention in the case (ibid).

The KAC has claimed that his blood pressure (BP) and temperature were normal when one of their members visited him in hospital and that he was unnecessarily kept in the hospital. Interestingly, Bhaiyyalal was taken by Deelip Ukey, an NCP worker, to the hospital. The KAC members requested the civil surgeon Ramteke to allow Bhaiyyalal to go to Delhi but he refused and told the hospital staff not to allow any visitors to meet Bhaiyyalal. As a result of this, the statement was submitted to the prime minister through the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat. One of the demands in the statement said that “highly placed police officers and doctors who tried to save the culprits by destroying the evidence should be made co-accused in the case”. Siddharth Gajbhiye named some of these persons: DSP Suresh Sagar (Khobragade), deputy S P Susatkar, police sub-inspector Bharane, constable Baban Meshram, constable Badvaik, civil surgeon Ramteke, PHC medical officer Avinash Shende, B S Meshram, advocate Leena Gajbhiye, MLAs Nana Panchabuddhe and Madhukar Kukde, and former Congress MLA Ram Asvale. All of

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them had a role in suppressing evidence, he alleged (ibid: 10).

2 All Honourable Persons

Siddeshwar Bharane, 50, is the son of a constable and a resident of Wardha, who lives in his own small bungalow with his wife and two children and was promoted to the rank of PSI. Earlier he had been pos ted to the Andhalgaon police station for 14 months. Prior to the complaint of serious injury to Siddharth Gajbhiye registered on 16 September 2006, PSI Bharane (interviewed on 18 July 2008, Wardha) said that there was not a single complaint against any person registered by a member of the Bhotmange/Gajbhiye family during his tenure. Regarding the delay in sending the papers on 21 September to the APP Leena Gajbhiye for legal advice and opinion and the delay in arresting the accused on 29 September, Bharane said that he was busy with the Durga Devi nine-day celebrations and VIP bandobast work. About the nonapplication of the Atrocity Act,2 Bharane said that he had arrested them under the Protection of Civil Rights Act coupled with some sections of the IPC and that they were released on bail on the same day, i e, 29 September. Asked why the police had failed to act quickly even after Gajbhiye informed them of the attack on the Bhotmange family on 29 September, Bharane said that the constable of the CID branch, Dongare, who answered the call had not heard Gajbhiye properly and only reported that gadbad jhali (something untoward has happened in Khairlanji). Therefore, he sent two constables, namely, Baban Meshram and Kawale along with two home guards but they came back since they were not given any information in Khairlanji. However, he had asked them to look for members of the Bhotmange family, he added.

The next day, following an anonymous call about a dead body he went to Khairlanji and followed the usual procedure in connection with Priyanka’s corpse on 30 September and the other three bodies on 1 October. During the entire hour-long interview he did not once utter a word of remorse about what had happened. On the contrary, he ended the interview with a question: “Why hasn’t something similar happened with the other two families of the same caste in the village?”. After coming


back to Pune, I asked him if he had been under political pressure but he denied it.

It was alleged that the APP Leena Gajbhiye in her communication to the police station officer (PSO), Andhalgaon suggested application of the sections of the Protection of Civil (PCR) Act3 instead of the Atrocity Act (YASHADA 2006: 17). When I went to her residence in Bhandara (14 November 2007) to discuss the allegation, her husband Sanjeev Gajbhiye, also an advocate at first said that this was a confidential matter between the police and advocate. Later, he told me to return the next day. He gave me the photocopies of three documents: the order of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) of 13 April 2007, a two-page charge letter of 18 November in connection with the crime No 52/2006 registered on 21 September and issued by the director of the Maharashtra State Directorate of Government Prosecution, and a four-page letter of 13 June 2007 written by Sudhakar Suradkar to the daily Lokmat, Nagpur. He also told me that the Andhalgaon police could have used the Atrocity Act to arrest the accused if they wanted to do so and it was not binding upon them to apply the PCR Act.

Since it was alleged that Surekha and Priyanka had been raped it was necessary to know what was recorded in the first post-mortem report4 prepared by Avinash Shende. I met him at his residence near Buddhavihar in Kumbharenagar, Tumsar, Bhandara (16 November 2007). He said that he had not received any requisition letter from the police. “Had I received guidelines I would have done it accordingly”, he said. Regarding the rape, he observed that “there were no external injuries of rape” and added that he had no experience in performing post-mortem and neither had he been taught to do so as a student. If there were any shortcomings it was due to his sheer lack of experience.

The civil surgeon K D Ramteke hails from village Pohara in Bhandara district though he now stays in Nagpur city. He studied at Milind Science College, Auran gabad founded by Babasaheb Ambedkar. Ramteke was blamed for detaining Bhaiyyalal in the District General Hospital in order to prevent him from meeting the prime minister in Delhi (KAC: 15). He (interviewed on 17 March 2008 at Nagpur) said that Bhaiyyalal was kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a few days in order to afford him privacy and because he (Bhaiyyalal) had asked to remain there and not because he was seriously ill. Ramteke said that Shende had been asked to perform the post-mortem because another senior doctor had left without permission and besides, Shende had performed a few autopsies earlier. The forensic doctor from the DGH was not sent because no one had asked for his services, he added.

Based on both the documents, namely, the FIR of 16 September 2006 and the MAT of 30 April 2007 it can be argued that the Andhalgaon PSO Siddheshwar Bharane had shown remarkable laxity. The FIR says that the mob used abusive words describing Siddharth Gajbhiye as Mahardya police patil jaasta maajalaa (Mahar police patil has become very arrogant), and was beaten up with sticks and parts of a broken bullock-cart causing serious injuries. The FIR said that Dileep Dhenge and the members of the Mandlekar family, all residents of Khairlanji were the assailants. The abusive words are an offence under clause (X)5 of the Atrocity Act. However, the offence was registered under Sections 147, 148, 149 and 324 of the IPC which pertain to rioting and causing hurt by dangerous weapons. Again, the PSO sent the papers to the APP for legal opinion on 21 September, five days after the FIR was registered. The legal opinion was communicated on 25 September but the accused were arrested on 29 September under bailable Sections. Had Bharane acted quickly the lives of four members of the Bhotmange family would have been saved because the police station was just 10 minutes away by road. Not only was Bharane tardy in his actions he has blamed the APP for not applying the Atrocity Act when the suggestion was not binding on him.

Passing the Buck

In regard to the actions of the APP Leena Gajbhiye, the question arises: Why did she not ask the PSO for the required information about the crime? Regarding the four days delay in giving an opinion, she says in her explanation to the Tribunal bench that she was preoccupied with judi cial/ court work and the follo wing days (Saturday and Sunday of 23 and 24 September, respectively) were holidays (ibid). The explanation does not sound convincing considering that both Gajbhiye and her husband are pra ctising lawyers.

Shende’s explanation about not having any experience in performing post-mortem duties is also hard to believe because all doctors know that in such sensitive cases visceras are to be preserved and the vaginal swabs are to be taken for further chemical analysis. The civil surgeon Ramteke however has said that Shende had performed autopsies before. Ramteke himself should have taken the initiative with his doctors to conduct a forensic investigation in Mohadi near Bhandara instead of waiting for someone to “demand” his services. Besides, from whom was he expecting such a demand? Also, his contention that Bhaiyyalal was kept in the hospital because he wanted to remain there seems strange.

The “passing the buck” exercise by all these officials is noteworthy. The PSO Bharane inordinately delayed action throughout, and did not brief the APP Leena Gajbhiye properly. The APP used the pretext both of not having adequate information and of intervening holidays

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for the delay. Both the doctors involved, Shende and Ramteke committed serious neglect of duties by not preserving evidence since rape was suspected. Among the four officers directly responsible PSO Bharane is the main culprit. In the case of the doctors Shende and Ramteke, strong possibility of political pressure has been considered because the local MLA was present during the post-mortem of Priyanka’s body (YASHADA: 29).

The DSP Suresh Sagar, who belongs to the same caste as the victims, visited the village two days after the murders. He made statements like “such things happen”, and regarding the naked female corpses he said “often clothes get torn in fights and manhandling, which is not unusual” (ibid: 30).

It is no surprise, therefore, that the investi gation team commissioned by the Nodal Officers, SC-ST (PoA) Act, 1989 recorded the attitude, particularly of the civil surgeon and the DSP to be “aloof and indiffe rent to allowing the crime and subsequent manipulation of evidence” (ibid: 29).

Moreover, the role of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission chairman C S Thul, a Buddhist (and dalit), is interesting. Thul came to Bhandara on 26 October, nearly a month after the murders. The members of the KAC requested him to record the statement of witne sses. He suggested that they remain present at Mohadi taluka court at 10.00 am. Though they waited there till 2 pm they did not hear from him. Thul neither discussed the matter with the members of the KAC, including Bhaiyyalal, nor did he show any sympathy or solidarity with the victims’ family (KAC 2006: 15).

3 Cultural Pathology

Maharashtra has a long history of the Ambedkar movement. India has adopted a number of programmes for ending age-old discrimination/deprivation, and believes in social and participatory democracy. What is the outcome and experience of all these programmes, particularly in the case of Mahars, the caste that has the most beneficiaries?

In the 1954 by-election in Bhandara constituency, Bhaurao Borkar, a Mahar, had contested the Lok Sabha election against Babasaheb Ambedkar. In the election campaign, some Mahars, namely, Balasaheb

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Tirpude, Raghunath Shende, Bhimrao Bansod, Jagoba Meshram, Laxminarayan Wasnik and others worked for Borkar (Nagwanshiya 2006: 113). In this Bhandara by-election, Babasaheb was defeated by a narrow margin of 8,681 votes (ibid: 96). After the Republican Party of India (RPI) was founded on 3 October 1957 some leaders of the Mahar community began forming their own factions based on sub-castes or political differences. It divided the Mahar community.

In the government administration, Mahar employees account for a sizeable number across all categories. It is true that many IAS officers from the community have proved their competence. However, there are many cases of suspension of Mahar officers due to misconduct. In a meeting of the government employees association of the community, when I appealed to them not to take bribes, a clerk in the revenue department vehemently argued: “Why do you not think of giving a bribe to our people instead of giving it to a person from another caste?”

The contribution of the Ambedkar movement is well recognised especially in the creation of a dalit middle class, good public speakers and popular writers, an army of political and social activists.

But all their activities by and large are confined to their community. Babasaheb was aware of this tendency in Mahars and had advised them “The Mahar caste within the untouchable communities is like an elder brother. They (the Mahars) should be generous in cooperating with the other untouchable castes. Do not occupy all positions yourselves” (Janata, 4 July 1936). Later at a public meeting at Ramlila grounds in Agra on 18 March 1956, he had expressed his dejection, “Educated people have deceived me. I was thinking that after education this class would deliver service to their own society, but I see that my clerks have gathered to engage in bettering themselves”. After being initiated into Buddhism the next day, i e, 15 October 1956, he advised his followers “not to be self-centred and selfish in outlook” (Das 1969: 164).

4 Conclusions

We have seen the insensitivity of the officers involved in the Khairlanji case. For the attention of his people, it is

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necessary to quote Babasaheb Ambedkar’s message:

You must have a firm belief in the sacredness of your goal. Noble is your aim and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty (emphasis added) to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the annihilation of slavery. Glory to those who would keep on their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carping humiliations, storms, and dangers till the down-trodden secure their human rights (Keer 1971: 197).


1 Regarding the alleged rape, based on both the initial and second post-mortem reports the following are the findings. The initial post-mortem was performed by Avinash J Shende. He states in his reports that “the bodies are not decomposed and the visceras both of Priyanka and Surekha have not been preserved”. Since rape was alleged the second post-mortem (after exhumation) was done at Deulgaon village by three doctors, B K Meshram, Nisha Bhavsar and Girish Wankhede on 5 October 2006 evening. The condition of both the bodies was described as heavily decomposed. However, vaginal swabs and uterus of both the bodies were taken and sent to Nagpur for histopathological and chemical analysis to detect the dead sperms. As per the chemical analyser’s report, the doctors in the memorandum of the second post-mortem examination state on 26 October 2006 that the private parts could not be identified, and no sperms detected in the vaginal swab or uterus. Nisha Bhavsar also told me (16 November 2007) that the sperms were not found in the analysis, but, she added that she was not present at the analysis. Thus, these reports show that the rape was not committed.

2 The offence is non-bailable under the Act.

3 The offence is bailable under the Act.

4 The photocopies of both post-mortem reports were procured later.

5 The clause reads: “whoever, not being a member of a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe”.


Das, Bhagwan (1969): Thus Spake Ambedkar, Vol II (Jullundur: Bheem Patrika Publications).

Keer, Dhananjay (1971): Dr Ambedkar Life and Mission (Mumbai: Popular Prakashan).

Khairlanji Action Committee (2006): Special Issue of Khairlanji Killings (Marathi) (Nagpur: Buddhist Communicator Office).

Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (2006): “Order of the Nagpur Bench”, 12 April 2007, pp 1-17.

Nagwanshiya, Rana (2006): Dr Babasaheb Ambedkarancha Bhandara Lok Sabha Potnivadnukitil Parabhav: Bhram aani Vastav (Marathi) (Bhandara: Rajni).

Teltumbde, Anand (2007): “Khairlanji and Its Aftermath: Exploding Some Myths”, Economic & Political Weekly, 24 March.

YASHADA (2006): Organised Killings of Dalits in Khairlanji Village: A Report under SC-ST (PoA) Act,1989, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute, Department of Social Justice, Maharashtra Government and Centre for Equity and Social Justice (Pune: Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration).

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