Mumbai: Eight get 10-year jail for role in anti-Dalit riots
In October 2016, a five-year-old girl was raped in Nashik’s Trimbakeshwar taluka. The girl belonged to the Maratha community and the accused was a Dalit. This led to violence in various parts of Nashik district.
A NASHIK district court has sentenced eight men to 10 years in prison for their role in the anti-Dalit riots that had broken out in the district in 2016 after a Maratha girl was sexually assaulted.
The court, Wednesday, also directed the Nashik district administration to rehabilitate the Dalit families that were attacked and ensure their protection.
In October 2016, a five-year-old girl was raped in Nashik’s Trimbakeshwar taluka. The girl belonged to the Maratha community and the accused was a Dalit. This led to violence in various parts of Nashik district. The incident took place in the backdrop of silent rallies that the Maratha community had staged to protest against the rape and murder of a girl from the community in Ahmednagar district in July 2016, in which the accused were Dalits.
The anti-Dalit riots had taken place at Sanjegaon in Igatpuri taluka in 2016. The Marathas were accused of hatching a conspiracy and attacking the Dalit settlement with iron rods, hockey sticks and a sword. The attackers, apart from destroying a community congregation place, had also used casteist slurs while beating up Dalit families.
Several Dalit members had claimed that the local police had avoided recording their complaint. Subsequently, a victim, Bayabai Bansi Shinde, moved a criminal writ petition in the Bombay High Court, alleging that her statement has not been recorded properly.
The HC had then directed the petitioner to approach the local police station and lodged a complaint. The police were also directed to take necessary action according to the law. Later in 2016, 21 people were arrested and booked for rioting under SC/ST Act and IPC.
On Wednesday, Special Judge N G Gimekar found eight of the accused guilty. They are Mohan Vithoba Govardhane, Ankush Govardhane, Sagar Govardhane, Rahul Govardhane, Bhausaheb Govardhane, Prakash Govardhane, Shivaji Govardhane and Nana Govardhane. Thirteen other accused, however, were given the benefit of doubt and acquitted in the case.
“The court has directed that the families that were attacked and hurt should be rehabilitated by the district administration. In case they feel unsafe, the court has directed the district administration to rehabilitate them at a place of their choice. It has also asked the state to make adequate arrangement for their security,” Public Prosecutor Ravindra Nikam said.
Courtesy: The Indian Express