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Kin of victims in triple Dalit murder arrested 

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Mother of Sanjay Jadhav, one of the three members of a Dalit family who were bludgeoned to death in Maharashtra’s Ahmadnagar district, has accused the authorities of falsely arresting her family members to safeguard the ‘upper caste’ killers of her son and his family.

“We had been telling the police authorities to thoroughly interrogate the ‘Wagh’ family from our neighbourhood as we suspect a love angle in this case. It was never taken too seriously and the whole case was turned upside down,” Sakhrabai Jadhav, 65, told The Hindu.

Ms. Jadhav, along with her husband Jagannath Jadhav, 70, was in Mumbai to address a public rally at Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai on the occasion of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s death anniversary on December 6.

Sanjay (42), along with his wife Jayshree (38) and son Sunil (19) were brutally murdered on October 20. Without any arrest, the authorities invoked the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the case three days after the incident. The investigation which went on for over one and half month yielded no result, until December 4 when Prashant Jadhav, Sanjay’s nephew was arrested for these murders over the land dispute.

The old couple is facing the worst time of their life, as the authorities till now have arrested two of their grandsons for being part of the murder. The latest being Prashant’s Brother Ashok Jadhav. According to Ms. Jadhav, Sunil’s love affaire with a girl from the family of ‘upper caste’ Maratha was the reason behind his murder. Sunil had even uploaded photos of that girl with him on  a social networking site.

Prashant’s family in the past had accused that they were pressurised to give statements against the family members. “Even I was asked to make statements against my in-laws in return of Rs one lakh,” his wife Sheetal told The Hindu.

While the police suspect land dispute as the reason behind the murders, deceased Sanjay’s father Jagannath denied it saying his six acres of non-irrigated land was equally divided between four brothers and there was never a single dispute over it.

The social activists too have raised several questions over the arrests, pointing out that Prashant was with the dog squad which probed the murder spot. “Furthermore, how can a murderer keep the clothes with blood stains at his home? The weapons such as an axe or a sickle can be found at every house in a village. The investigation raises several doubts which need to be answered,” said Subodh More, a member of the fact finding committee which had visited the spot after the killings.  

The police have however turned down all the allegations claiming that the arrests were purely based on evidences. “They are trying to defame others by bringing in their names. It’s an effort to save the guilty,” said Pravin Salunkhe, Special Inspector General of Police (Nashik Range).  

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:05:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kin-of-victims-in-triple-dalit-murder-arrested/article6673357.ece

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