More than 72 hours after a Dalit family of three was savagely murdered in Ahmednagar district’s Pathardi Taluk, the district police on Friday admitted that the triple homicide was a case of caste violence but have not zeroed in on the culprits.
“We are doing our very best to solve the case. While no arrests have been made so far, at least six teams drawn from policemen of the local crime branch have been deployed across the district,” said Lakhmi Gautam, Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police, speaking to The Hindu .
While stating that an FIR had been lodged against unknown persons for atrocities against Dalits under the SC/ST Act, Mr. Gautam refused to speculate on possible motives for the murders until they have more details.
In the intervening period of October 21 and 22, villagers of Javkhede Khalasa in Pathardi discovered dismembered body parts of a mason, Sanjay Jadhav (42), his wife Jayashree (38) and their teenage son Sunil (19), floating in the well and strewn around land owned by Jadhav.
On Friday, relatives of the victims and Dalit organisations across the State expressed ire over the failure of the Ahmednagar police and the district administration to effect a breakthrough in the case.
Jadhav’s mother, Sakharbai (70), has demanded that her son’s killers be “hanged for the heinous crime” and that security be provided for her surviving three sons.
“My son had no enmity with anyone. Yet, he, my daughter-in-law and my grandson were killed in a bestial and inhuman way. I want justice for their deaths,” demanded an inconsolable Ms. Sakharbai Jadhav.
While Jadhav’s body was cut into two, the boy Sunil was found decapitated, with arms and limbs chopped off.
Activists of the Republican Party of India (A) and other Dalit organisations burned effigies of authorities and staged protests in Baramati and Amravati, demanding speedy justice for the gory killings.
“The police have disappointed us. The administration is in a state of inertia. What good will come of a CID probe? The perpetrators of the Sonai triple murders have not yet been brought to justice,” said Ravindra Jadhav, one of the brothers of the slain Jadhav, speaking to The Hindu .
This is the third instance of Dalit murders in the district in recent times. In July this year, a 20-year-old Dalit boy was killed in Kharda village in Jamkhed Taluk for conducting an alleged illicit affair with an upper-caste girl.
In January 2013, three Dalit youths, who worked as sweepers, were hacked to death and their mutilated bodies dumped in a septic tank in Sonai village.