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Pune suicide: Kin withdraw complaint against caste panchayat

The family had initially claimed that Arun Kisan Naikunji was driven to suicide by the caste panchayat (Lingayat Gawali community) members, refusing to lift a boycott imposed on his family two years ago.

Maharashtra, cast panchayat, Arun Kisan Naikunji, Arun Kisan Naikunji death, Arun Kisan Naikunji suicide, Farmer Suicide, Maharashtra Farmer Suicide, Latest news, India news Relatives of Arun Kisan Naikunji. Pavan Khengre

TAKING A U-turn, the family of Arun Kisan Naikunji (48), who committed suicide on Monday due to alleged harassment by caste panchayat, has decided to withdraw their complaint and has accordingly filed an affidavit in the court.

The family had initially claimed that Arun was driven to suicide by the caste panchayat (Lingayat Gawali community) members, refusing to lift a boycott imposed on his family two years ago. The caste panchayat reportedly ordered the boycott as it was of the view that Arun’s brother, Appa, had helped one Dhiraj Pangudwale from the same community to marry a woman from another caste.

Following complaint lodged by Arun’s son Suraj, an offence was registered at the Chandan Nagar police station against Vahappa Pailwan, Mankappa Aurange, Vitthal Pailwan, Kisan Janubas and other panchs of the “Veershaiva Lingayat Gawli Samaj Jaat Panchayat, Pune” under sections 306 (Abetment of suicide), 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

However, police said that Arun’s family has now retracted and has a submitted an affidavit in the court through their lawyer that they do not have any complaint. Speaking to The Indian Express, senior police inspector Anil Patrudkar of Chandan Nagar police confirmed that the complainants in caste panchayat case have filed such an affidavit in the court.

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“We are recording the statements of the complainant in written as well as in video,” said Patrudkar. Asked if there was any pressure from caste panchayat, Patrudkar said, “We are looking into it.” When contacted, Suraj Naikunji said he would not talk as he is busy in a ritual.

Meanwhile, none of the accused persons named in the complaint earlier have been arrested. Police said that all are on the run. Sources said the caste panchayat panchs booked in this case have contacted a prominent lawyer through their supporters, for filing application anticipatory bail.

It may be recalled that after Arun’s death, his brother Appa had told media persons that police and government should take stern action against the panchs of caste panchayat.


Meanwhile, police also recorded the statement of Dhiraj Pangudwale, resident of Khadki. He told The Indian Express, “I got married in 2010 at Pandhapur in the presence of community members. It was not an inter-caste marriage. However, two months after the marriage, some people spread a rumour that my wife is from a different caste. The caste panchayat ordered a boycott on me. They did not lift the boycott even after repeated requests and discussions. On December 9, 2014, I filed a complaint at Khadki police station and six persons from the caste panchayat were arrested. During the court trial, I proved that my wife is from the same caste. The caste panchayat panchs told the court that they wanted to settle the issue out of court. They filed an affidavit before the court saying they would never boycott me again…..Appa Naikunji was present at my marriage. Their family was upset because of the boycott imposed on them.”

Advocate Vipin Bidkar, lawyer of Naikunji family said, “We have filed an affidavit in the magistrate court today on behalf of Suraj that complaint was filed out of misunderstanding and have no complaint against anybody.”

Bidkar said police have recorded statements of family members that there is no pressure on them from anyone.

First published on: 02-09-2016 at 12:21:30 am
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