The counsel for the accused C M Jagadeesh on Saturday argued against the death sentence sought by the special public prosecutor of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Sudarshan. The special public prosecutor had sought death sentence for five accused (A1 to A5), while exhorting for life sentence to the remaining. Referring to a court verdict, Jagadeesh said that the case cannot be deemed as rarest of the rare cases.
Moreover, barring two accused who are aged 50 years, the remaining are aged between 35 and 45 years. Taking all these facts into consideration, the court should deliver the verdict, he pleaded.
Badanavalu rioting in Nanjangud taluk in the district had drawn the attention of the State given its severity on March 25, 1993. Three dalits B R Narayan Swamy, Nataraj and Madhukar had been allegedly hacked to death by a mob of upper people on Badanvalu- Devanur road, besides causing serious injuries to B C Swamy and Krishnamurthy that later triggered unrest in the society.
What led to the brutal killings was the issue of giving permission for dalits to enter the newly opened Siddeshwara Temple in the village.
The dalits who were earlier prohibited from entering the temple by the upper caste, had taken the matter to the authorities concerned who had intervened, facilitating dalits entry into the temple.
The upper caste people who were seething over the same, allegedly avenged by launching an attack on the group of villagers who were returning home after playing cricket at Hainyamballi near to their village on that ill fated day.
Bowing to the pressure from various quarters, the case had been referred to CBI on April 22. A chargesheet had been submitted to the court against 23 accused in the case. They were released on bail later. Of them, three had died during the course of trial.
Much before the accused were brought to the Law Courts complex, relatives in large numbers had converged in the premises.
Among them, Chinnamma mother of Suresh a prime accused in the case fainted. She subsequently recovered.