Enact stringent laws to tackle honour killings: Dalit leaders

After a Nashik court sentenced six people to death for the gory murder of three Dalit youth at Sonai in Ahmednagar in 2013, community leaders sought a tough legislation to tackle honour-related crimes.

Union minister of state for social justice and Republican Party of India (RPI-A) chief Ramdas Athavale said the “revolutionary decision” to award the capital punishment to the six accused who had killed Sachin Gharu (24), Sandeep Thanvar (25) and Rahul Kandare (20), would serve as a deterrent.

Earlier on Saturday, the Sessions court in Nashik had convicted six of the seven accused in the murders. “A law is needed against honour killing… such cases are on the rise in the society hence a legislation will prevent it,” said Athavale, adding that his party had sought the death penalty in the Sonai case.

This sentencing was on the lines of the punishment awarded to the three youth, including Dalits, who were convicted for gang raping and killing a Maratha girl at Kopardi in Ahmednagar, he stated.

The trio, who belonged to the Mehtar community, was killed at the Sonai village in Ahmednagar district after Gharu fell in love with a girl from the dominant Maratha community.

“Those who were in love were finished in such brutal a manner. This happened in Maharashtra even before the movie Sairat which features a similar climax was released,” noted People’s Republican Party (PRP) president and legislator Jogendra Kawade. He stressed on the need for a law to protect against honour-related crimes.

In 2014, a Dalit boy Nitin Aage (17) was killed at Kharda, which also falls in Ahmednagar district, for his purported affair with an upper caste girl. However, the trial court had acquitted the accused.


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