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17 Years Ago, 200 Women Lynched Serial Rapist Bharat Kalicharan In A Nagpur Courtroom

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Shweta Sengar
Shweta SengarUpdated on Dec 01, 2021, 16:51 IST
Akku Yadav lynching

It's a scene straight from a movie. Or a plot that could inspire a movie. 

On August 13, 2004, Bharat Kalicharan also known as Akku Yadav, a gangster, robber, home invader, kidnapper, serial rapist, extortionist, and serial killer, was lynched in a courtroom in broad daylight.

A bail hearing was scheduled for him on 13 August 2004 in India's Nagpur District Court.

Word spread through the adjoining neighbourhood that the court might release him. The police had planned to keep him in custody until everyone had calmed down and then release him. 

This prompted hundreds of women to march from the slums to the courthouse carrying vegetable knives and chili powder, walk into the courtroom and take seats near the front.

Yadav walked in without the slightest remorse, bursting with confidence. Between 2:30 and 3:00 PM, when Yadav appeared, he saw a woman he had raped. He mocked her, called her a prostitute, and shouted that he would rape her again. The police reportedly laughed.

Soon, a woman in the front started hitting him in the head with a chappal. She told Yadav either she would kill him or he would have to kill her saying, "We can't both live on this Earth together. It's you or me."

Akku Yadav Akku Yadav was 32 years old, and hacked to death in 15 minutes, for crimes spanned over a decade.

Yadav was then lynched by a mob of 200-400 women who showed up armed in the courtroom. He was stabbed at least 70 times, and chili powder and stones were thrown in his face. The chili powder was also thrown into the faces of police officers who guarded him. 

One of his victims hacked off his penis.

Policemen left the scene overwhelmed and terrified.

The lynching took place in Nagpur District Court No. 7 on the marble floor of the courtroom.

As he was being lynched, Yadav was horrified and shouted: "Forgive me! I won't do it again!"The women passed their knives around and kept stabbing him; each woman agreed to stab Yadav at least once. His blood was splattered on the floors and walls of the courtroom. He was 32 years old, and hacked to death in 15 minutes, for crimes that spanned over a decade.

The women said the murder was unplanned. The united action was a result of word of mouth. 

The women returned to Kasturba Nagar and told the men that they had killed Yadav. Celebration erupted in the slum neighbourhood with music and dance on the streets. Five women were arrested immediately but released following demonstrations in the city. Every woman living in the locality claimed responsibility for the lynching. 

Yadav's reign of terror

During his life as a criminal, Yadav, born in 1971, murdered at least three individuals. He tortured and kidnapped people, invaded homes, and raped more than 40 women and girls. He bribed the police, giving them money and buying them drinks to convince them to let him continue committing crimes. 

For many years, Yadav and his associates gangraped women and girls as young as age 10 as a warning to those who resisted him.

Yadav had been terrorising families, mostly Dalits, living in Kasturba Nagar, barging into homes demanding money, shouting threats, and abuse.

But it was rape that humiliated the community. Residents of Kasturba Nagar say that a rape victim lives in every other house of the slum. He violated women to control men, ordering his henchmen to drag even girls as young as 12 to a nearby derelict building to be gang-raped.

Akku Yadav lynching crime scene Akku Yadav lynching crime scene

Dozens of Yadav's rape victims reported the crime but no police action was taken. The 32-year-old was never charged with rape.

Yadav and his men gang-raped a woman named Kalma ten days after she gave birth. After what happened to her, Kalma committed suicide; she burned to death after dousing herself with kerosene and lighting it.

Yadav's gang pulled another woman from her house when she was seven months pregnant. They stripped her naked and raped her on the road in public view.

Several women were sent away by the police saying that they're of loose character and that's why they were raped. 

Before his death, Yadav had been arrested some 14 times.

Around a decade after his lynching, all women accused of lynching Yadav were acquitted for lack of evidence. 

Yadav's case is an example of police laxity, and lack of intent to protect women. His crimes were met with poetic justice after the law failed.

This article, however, does not advocate or defend any sort violence by the victims. Justice pronounced according to the law books is a sign of a civilised society run by the rule of law.

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