In protest against the failure of the Maharashtra police to make a breakthrough in the savage murder of a three-memebr Dalit family more than a week ago, the Republican Party of India (A) has called for a total shutdown in Ahmednagar district of the State on Thursday.
On the intervening night of October 20 and 21, Sanjay Jadhav (42), his wife Jayashree (38) and their teenage son Sunil (19), were hacked to death in Javkhede Khalasa village in Ahmednagar’s Pathardi Taluk. Their dismembered body parts were later found floating in the well. Sunil was decapitated and his body parts were strewn on the acre-and-a-half plot owned by Mr. Jadhav.
Other Dalit parties like the Republican Sena and several Dalit organisations are expected to extend their support to the bandh call .
“It is dismaying that the police cannot solve a murder of this magnitude in a sparsely populated area even after a lapse of eight days. As chances of solving it is dimming, I have decided to call for a total shutdown in Ahmednagar district on Thursday. This will be followed by a State-wide agitation to bring the killers of Pathardi to book,” RPI (A) president, Ramdas Athawale, told The Hindu from Mumbai.
“More than 100 policemen are on this case. A total of eight teams have been constituted. We are tracing call records of the murdered family. I urge the villagers of Javkhede to have some faith in us. We will crack the case soon,” said Inspector General of Police (Nashik Range), Pravin Salunkhe, speaking to The Hindu .
Mr. Salunkhe said that the murderers were careful not to leave any clue. “We could not retrieve Sunil’s mobile from the spot. After interrogating some people, we believe that the boy’s mobile was on till 11 p.m. on 20 October. We are assuming that the murders must have taken place after that,” he said.
Officers from Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar districts had been put on the case, while the Mumbai police was being regularly consulted, Mr. Salunkhe said. Besides, security had been provided for the victims’ relatives living in the hamlet of Jadhavwadi.
But the district, which has witnessed the third instance of violence in recent times targeting Dalits, continues to be tense with shutdowns, road blocks and rallies frequently being staged in Pathardi since the murder of the Jadhav family.
“If the police are taking so long to zero in on the murderers, we urge them to apprehend suspects and start conducting narco-tests to find the truth,” said Raju Adhav, district president of the Republican Sena.