New Delhi: The CPI(M) today termed as
"extremely unfortunate" the Bombay High Court`s decision to
commute the death sentence awarded to six convicts in the
Khairlanji case in Maharashtra to life imprisonment.
The party also said the court had not considered the
state government and investigating agencies` "failure" to
invoke the provisions of the Prevention of Atrocities against
Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act against the convicts and
others accused in the case.
"It is extremely unfortunate that the court has commuted
the death sentence given by a lower court to the convicts,"
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said.
"It is also a serious matter that the court did not look
at the major flaw in the state government and the
investigating agencies` failure to charge those guilty under
the SCs/STs atrocities prevention Act," she said.
The court, Karat said, "should have indicted the
government and the agencies for such a serious lapse and
failure, for which several other accused got away. There was
sufficient evidence to charge them under this Act also".
A mob had lynched a Dalit woman and her three children
in Maharashtra`s Khairlanji village on September 29, 2006 over
a land dispute with upper castes. The incident had provoked
violent protests across the state.
Six of the people accused of killing the children were
given death sentence by a lower court in September, 2008. The
Bombay High Court today commuted the death sentence of six
convicts to 25 years of imprisonment and fixed a similar
period for two others serving life terms.