ibnlive » India

Mar 02, 2007 at 05:28pm IST

Khairlangi: Nikam to represent CBI

New Delhi: Ujjwal Nikam, better known as CBI's lawyer for the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, has been appointed as special public prosecutor of the investigating agency in the sensational Khairlanji Dalit massacre case.

The Maharashtra government on Friday approved of CBI's request for appointing Nikam. In fact, the state home ministry issued a notification to this effect on Thursday, PTI reported.

Four members of Bhotmange family — Surekha, her daughter Priyanka, sons Rahul and Sudhir — were on September 29 butchered by a group of villagers at Khairlangi, some 100 kms from Nagpur in Bhandara district.

DALIT KILLINGS: Four members of Bhotmange family were butchered by a group of villagers at Khairlangi.

The incident had sparked protests in various parts of the state and the Maharashtra government finally handed over the probe to the CBI. The trial court has since discharged 35 of the 46 accused in the case following a CBI application in this regard.

Nikam represented CBI's case in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case before a special TADA court, leading to the conviction of 100 of the 123 accused persons. He has represented Maharashtra in the 2003 Mumbai twin blasts case.

Earlier, two prime witnesses in the case, Siddharth and Rajendra Gajbhiye, alleged that they are being constantly threatened by the 11 suspects who were arrested by the CBI and later released on bail.

"After the accused returned from the jail, they are celebrating publicly. We feel scared, we've lost courage," says Siddharth. The other witness in the case, Rajendra says, "Even I was attacked. The administration is trying to supress our cases."