Attack on Dalit family: Crime branch to probe

Police have not yet invoked atrocities act.

A week after 27-year-old Vaibhav Ghadge and his wife were attacked by three persons in an alleged case of caste atrocity, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil visited Kulkajai village in Satara district and ordered the case be transferred to Satara Crime Branch.

On Wednesday, The Indian Express had reported how five years after Madhukar Ghadge, a Dalit, was allegedly brutally killed by 12 caste Hindus after he decided to dig a well in his village, Vaibhav his nephew and the sole witness to the murder was brutally attacked on January 22.

One of the prime accused, Navnath Kapse, has been arrested and another accused identified, police said.

Vaibhav, a postgraduate from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, had got married two days before the incident.

He was on his way to the village temple when three persons on a motorbike stopped and attacked him and his wife. Vaibhav, who was hit on his head was thrown from a 300-ft high cliff. His wife was beaten and thrown from the cliff. Both are recuperating at a local hospital.

Satara Superintendent K M M Prasanna said investigations were in the preliminary stage and the police has not invoked the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

"We are still investigating the matter. We can't just go by what the victims say. Evidence is also essential. The case has been handed over to the Crime Branch. Another accused, a history sheeter who was earlier externed from Satara, has been identified. Only after the second accused is arrested can we establish the motive," he said.

Madhukar Ghadge's son Tushar said, "Police still insist that robbery was the only motive behind the assault on Vaibhav and his wife. How can they say so when the arrested accused was earlier tried in my father's murder case."

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