Investigate murder of Dalit youths, activists urge NHRC

Human rights activists on Thursday urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to probe the hacking of three Dalit youths belonging to Mehtar community (manual scavenger) at a remote hamlet in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra in early January.

The NHRC members were in Mumbai briefing about the findings of the atrocities on Dalits in the Vidarbha region when activists apprised them of their findings in the triple murder committed by upper caste people.

Talking to Deccan Herald, advocate Priyadarshi Telang of “Manuski” (a Pune-based organisation fighting for Dalit rights) said the police were dragging their feet in the case and they took into custody five persons only after a furor. “The way murders were carried out indicates that over five persons participated in the killings,” she added.

As per the case, in the first week of January, police recovered mutilated bodies of three youths in their twenties from a septic tank and fields in Nevasa taluka of Ahmednagar. The victims: Sandeep Thanwar, Sachin Gharu and Rahul Kandare, according to case papers, had migrated to Kharwandi, Ganeshwadi in Ahmednagar to work as manual scavengers in a local school.

Post-mortem of the bodies revealed that the youths were probably strangulated and their limbs were chopped off before one of them was dumped in a septic tank and other two in a nearby field.

Though the police, after much hesitation and at the insistence of human rights activists, rounded up five persons on grounds that one of the victims– Sachin Gharu–was reportedly having an affair with a girl belonging to an “upper-caste” family, the investigations have not been able to zero-in on the exact motive behind the gruesome killings.

Talking about the meeting with NHRC members, advocate Telang said: “ We have demanded that more intensive enquiries and investigations need to be done in the case and for putting up the case in a fast-track court apart from an adequate compensation to the family members of the victims.”

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