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Jan 31, 2013 at 09:15pm IST

Maharashtra: Three Dalit youths found murdered; conviction rate in Dalit atrocities remains low

Ahmednagar: The bodies of three Dalit youths from the Mehtar community were found in a mutilated condition in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in what activists claim is a case of honour killing. One of the young men was in a relationship with a girl belonging to the upper Maratha caste.

This is the 7th Dalit atrocity case registered in this district in the last three years. The conviction rate in such cases have been dismal.

One of the three men who worked as sweepers in the local educational institution, Sachin Dharu was in a relationship with a student belonging to the upper Maratha caste. Five members of her family, including her father, have been arrested. The police, after prima facie investigation, added sections pertaining to Dalit atrocity.

Meanwhile, in another case, the family of Sandeep Thanvar, one of the three young Dalit men who were found brutally murdered a month ago in Newase taluka in Ahmednagar, is inconsolable. The youths were hacked to death, with their limbs chopped off.

The three bodies were recovered from a tank and a well inside the fields of the main accused. "They thought how can an upper caste be in love with a Dalit," said Pankaj Thanvar, Sandeep's brother.

While politicians have been quick to demand Ashish Nandy's arrest over his arguably misinterpreted remarks on Dalits, few have ensured justice to Dalits even in cases like the ghastly Khairlanji killings. The conviction rate in cases of Dalit atrocities in Maharashtra remains unimpressive.