The lone survivor of the 2006 Khairlanji massacre, in which four members of a Dalit family were assaulted and murdered, died of heart attack in Nagpur on Friday, PTI reported. A resident of Bhandara district in Maharashtra, 62-year-old Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange was admitted to a hospital after he complained of uneasiness. “The heart attack had led to multiple organ failures, including that of his brain,” Nagpur’s Srikrishna Healthcare said, according to The Hindu.
Bhotmange will be buried at the same spot where his family was buried 11 years ago. On September 29, 2006, four members of the Bhotmange family were murdered in Khairlanji, a village in Bhandara district. A mob, led by Kunbi caste people, stripped, battered, paraded naked and raped Bhotmange’s wife and daughter before killing them. The sons were also tortured before being murdered.
The incident had triggered massive protests in Maharashtra and across the country. After the incident, Bhotmange, who was also a key witness in the case, was given a house in Bhandara and a job at a government hostel.
Six persons were sentenced to death, and two others were given life imprisonment by a court in Bhandara in September 2008. However, in 2010, the Bombay High Court commuted the capital punishment to 25-years’ rigorous imprisonment.
Bhotmange had challenged the high court’s ruling in the Supreme Court and was awaiting a verdict. However, both the lower court and the high court had ruled out caste bias in the murders and said it was an act of revenge and village rivalry.