After struggling for life for 4 days in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), the man who was set on fire by anti-social elements in Gondia succumbed to his injuries on May 23, 2014. He was being treated by the doctors in Ward No 19 of GMCH.
Angered over the death of the 48-year old victim Sanjay Khobragade, the family and other members of the Dalit community started raising slogans against the administration. They demanded suspension of the Superintendent of Police and Police Inspector of Gondia Police. The situation near the mortuary went tense for some time.
According to police sources, a land dispute turned gory when few anti-social elements set Sanjay Khobragade ablaze after pouring petrol on him in Kavlewada village in Gondia district. After the incident, the political scenario of Kavlewada turned hot.
The incident occurred in Gondia district, under jurisdiction of Gangazari police station, in Kavlewada village.
However, the son of the deceased Pradeep Khobragade and daughter Durga Rakesh Rangari, son-in-law Rakesh Rangari alleged that the police are trying to make the wife of the deceased Devika Khobragade and her alleged lover Raju Gadpayle as scapegoats in the entire episode and trying to divert the attention of the masses with a motive to diffuse the situation.
On Friday, May 23, after the news of the death of the burn victim reached them, many members of Dalit organizations started gathering in front of the mortuary of GMCH. The son and the daughter too were present at the spot. They started raising slogans against the Superintendent of Police Dilip Jhalke and Police Sub Inspector Anil Patil of Gondia Police. They were demanding that Jhalke and Patil should immediately be suspended. They allegedly warned the district administration that failing to suspend the two police officials, they will not allow post-mortem Sanjay Khobragade to be performed. They also warned that they will not remove the body from the mortuary too. They alleged that the police are trying to shield the accused and in an attempt to divert the attention, they had concocted an alleged affair angle to the entire case, while in the dying declaration given before a magistrate, the deceased had clearly mentioned the names of 6 accused.
Initially, police arrested 6 accused but after two days, they changed the direction of investigations and arrested wife of the deceased.
Son claims misconduct by cops:
While speaking to the media, the son of the deceased, Pradeep Khobragade claimed that the police had taken him and his mother Devika Khobragade for investigation and filing report. However, he alleged that the police had stopped the vehicle midway. First they removed the sim-cards from their mobiles and had resorted to abusive behavior and had beaten his aged mother. They started asking the son as to how many husbands does your mother have? They repeated the same question to the mother. She said that “I am 50 years old and is it right on your part to ask such vulgar questions in front of my son?” The cops had allegedly pressurized mother and son to accept their allegations of the mother having illicit relations with an alleged lover Gadpayle. After that they were taken to the police station and locked up. In spite of wife of the deceased claiming innocence she was arrested and locked up in police custody.
Refusal to perform last rites until real culprits penalized:
After this sensational news of burning a man from the Dalit community, many leaders visited the victim in the GMCH. Many had also condemned the incident and had demanded the accused be arrested soon and punished. However, after the death of the victim, on Friday, May 23, 2014 the situation at the mortuary of GMCH had heated up and thousands of members of Dalit community gathering there. They demanded immediate arrest of the real culprits and a fitting punishment for them failing which they refused to perform the last rites of the deceased.