//Dalit leader wants Patil to be co-accused in Khairlangi

Dalit leader wants Patil to be co-accused in Khairlangi

www.cybernoon.com, November 23, 2006

Police officials are co-accused, he heads the home department, says Republican Party’s Jogendra Kawade

The Republican Party leader Jogendra Kawade has demanded that Deputy Chief Minister R. R. Patil, who holds the home portfolio, should be made co-accused in the Bhotmange family massacre case in Khairlangi village of Bhandara district in Vidharbha.

Kawade, the aggressive Dalit leader who brought this heinous crime to light, is very adamant on making Patil a co-accused in the brutal killing of the Bhotmange family. He said, “Police officials are also accused in this case for their inaction and for allegedly protecting the culprits. Being the head of the home department, Patil cannot escape responsibility in the offence. Hence, our categorical demand is that he too be made a co-accused.”

When asked about Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s appeal to withdraw the ongoing agitation as all the demands related to the episode have been fulfilled, Kawade said, “Only because of our non-stop agitation has this butchery come to light, otherwise by this everything would have been hushed-up. As head of the government it’s the duty of the chief minister to make such appeal. But at the same time, the fact remains that many culprits who were involved in the murder are still at large. The loan survivor of the Bhotmange family even today can’t enter the village. He has taken shelter in the neighboring district. In this backdrop how can we pay heed to the government’s appeal?”

When pointed out that other factions of the Republican Party and their leaders’ approach towards the Khairalanji case was very casual, and at the same time these leaders failed to take a firm stand against the government’s apathy, Kawade screamed, “Yes, it’s absolutely correct. Other Dalit leaders including Ramdas Athavale have become pawns in the hands of the government. So you can’t expect anything from these helpless leaders. This incident has exposed them and they have lost the moral right to face the Dalit masses.”