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Chargesheet skips key witnesses,kin allege cops diluting caste atrocity angle

The criminal investigation department has failed to include crucial witness statements in an over 600-page charge sheet in an honour-killing case in Ahmednagar

Written by SUKANYA SHANTHA | Mumbai |
April 18, 2013 2:06:41 am

The criminal investigation department has failed to include crucial witness statements in an over 600-page charge sheet in an honour-killing case in Ahmednagar.

Sandeep Thanvar,24,Sachin Gharu,22,and Rahul Khandare,20,all Mehtars,were hacked to death in January this year,allegedly because Gharu had an affair with a dominant caste girl. The girl’s father Popat Dharandale,his brothers Ramesh and Prakash and son Ganesh,19,were arrested for the murder. Sandeep Kurhe,Ashok Navgire and Ashok Phalke were held for aiding and abetting the crime.

The chargesheet filed in Ahmednagar sessions court earlier this month claimed that “love relationship” and protection of family “honour” were motives for the murders but it did not attach the girl’s statement. The families of the victims alleged police intentionally excluded crucial witnesses to dilute “caste atrocity” angle.

“They do no want to show Sachin and daughter of Popat Dharandale were in love. Police have not only excluded statement of the girl,but those who studied with her at Trimurti Shikshan Sankul were also not examined,” claimed Thanvar’s brother Pankaj.

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Pankaj,an armyman,has decided not to report to work till there is a “satisfactory” police investigation into the case.

CID officers agreed that the girl’s statement was crucial to the case but investigating officer Dhanraj Valunjkar said it was dropped at the last minute. “She did not support the prosecution case and hence it was not mentioned. Her friends,who could have proved a crucial link also did not support the case,” he said.

However,activists claimed that excluding the girl’s statement would weaken the case. “Several people at her institute had seen the girl and Sachin together. Besides his family,not a single witness claims Sachin and the girl were friends,” said Priyadarshi Telang of NGO Manuski,which is providing legal aid to the victims’ families. “Place,time,chronology of the incident have been mentioned but not the motive.”

The victims’ families have fled the village,fearing attacks. They are staying with relatives in northern Maharashtra.

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