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6 convicted for killing 3 Dalits

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The trio was hacked to death in Ahmednagar’s Sonai village in 2013

A local court in Nashik on Monday convicted six men for hacking to death three Dalit youths in Ahmednagar’s Sonai village on January 1, 2013. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Thursday.

Six of the seven accused were convicted on charges including murder and criminal conspiracy for murdering Sachin Gharu (24), Sandeep Thanvar (25) and Rahul Kandare (20), three sweepers who belonged to the backward Mehtar (Bhangi) community.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the seventh suspect was acquitted as the prosecution, after examining 54 witnesses, could not establish a charge of conspiracy against him.

The police said that the three worked at Trimurti Pavan Pratishthan School and College at Nevasa Phata in Ahmadnagar district. Gharu and Thanavar stayed at the staff quarters of the college, while Kandare lived in a room in the college hostel. Gharu was in a relationship with the daughter of Popat Darandale, who was studying in the college.

Body found in well

According to the FIR, Gharu, Thanvar and Kandare were summoned by the Darandale family on the evening of January 1 to clean their septic tank. Ashok Navgire, a common friend, took the trio to the house in Sonai village. A search was launched when the youths did not return.

The police later found Gharu’s decapitated body, his limbs were severed from the trunk, on the evening of January 2 in a dry well. The mutilated bodies of Thanvar and Kandare were found on January 3 with severe head injuries.

Mr. Nikam said that the girl’s family was opposed to the inter-caste love affair and hatched a conspiracy to kill the youths. The accused include the girl’s father, his brothers and other relatives.

The Sonai judgment comes after a local court in Ahmednagar recently acquitted nine accused of murdering a 17-year-old Dalit youth for being in a relationship with a girl from the Maratha community.

Nitin Aage was brutally killed and hung from a tree by three men of the Maratha community on April 28, 2014 in Kharda village in Ahmednagar’s Jamkhed taluk. Last month, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court admitted a public interest litigation for a retrial in the Nitin Aage case.

In November last year, a special court pronounced the death sentence for three accused, belonging to a backward community, for raping and murdering a minor girl in Ahmednagar’s Kopardi village.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:39:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/6-convicted-for-killing-3-dalits/article22445155.ece

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