Nagar: Two boys and their father were acquitted by a district court in the statewide triple murder case of Javkhede Khalsa (Tal. Pathardi). District Chief Sessions Judge Sudhakar Yarlagadda today, Tuesday night. All three victims were from the Dalit community. The killings sparked protests in the state and in the United States. A total of 54 witnesses were questioned in the case. The government was unable to prove the crime against the defendant, the court said in its sentencing.
The accused have been identified as Prashant Dilip Jadhav (37), Ashok Dilip Jadhav (23), and Dilip Jagannath Jadhav (52), all residents of Javkhede Khalsa, Pathardi. Sanjay Jagannath Jadhav (45), his wife Jayshree Sanjay Jadhav (40) and his son Sunil Sanjay Jadhav (19) were killed on October 20, 2014 around 9:00 pm on suspicion of having a family affair . The assassinated Sanjay Jadhav and the acquitted Dilip Jadhav are two brothers. On behalf of the accused, Attorney Sunil Magare, S. r Bodde, SS Gawai, Nitin More (all Aurangabad) supervised the work while Special Public Prosecutor Umesh Chandra Yadav acted on behalf of the government. All three victims were from the Dalit community, which created tension in the village. The villagers had asked for a day off in protest.
The then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, State Congress President Manikrao Thackeray, Ramdas Athavale MP, Dr. Prakash Ambedkar and others visited Javkhede and met the Jadhav family and also provided help. The three were beaten and then strangled to death, after which Sunil’s head was hacked off with a saw and his limbs severed. Sanjay and Jayashree’s bodies were also dismembered. The evidence was destroyed by dumping the body parts into a coupon tube and into a nearby well. Initially, Sanjay Jadhav had filed a complaint with the police. Consequently, an offense was filed under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Atrocity) Prevention Act. This clause was later removed after he was acquitted.
When statewide agitation began to protest the murder, the then Nashik Division Special Inspector General of Police, Praveen Salunke, was posted to the city for the investigation. The police conducted a narco test on some of the suspects as the defendants left no evidence after the murder. Permission was sought from the Pathardi court.
Among those charged were Sanjay’s brother Dilip, two nephews Prashant and Ashok. After the narco test, the police identified Prashant Jadhav as the suspect. Arrested on December 3, 2014. The charge sheet was later filed in court by the then local criminal branch investigating officer, Shashiraj Patole, charging the other two.