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Palghar lynching: 110 including 9 juveniles arrested for murder of two Sadhus and a driver where police acted as mute spectator

The blood-curdling incident happened on 16th April, 2020 in Palghar, Maharashtra. Two Sadhus, 70-year-old Kalpavrishka Giri Maharaj and 35-year-old Sushil Giri Maharaj along with their driver 30-year-old Nilesh Telgade associated with the Juna Akhara and were on their way from Mumbai to Gujarat to give Samadhi to another Sadhu.

Horrifying visuals have emerged in the Palghar lynching incident where a mob of over 100 people killed two Sadhus and their driver even as the Police stood there as mute spectators, just letting the barbaric act unfold.

Disclaimer: The videos contain violent images, viewer discretion recommended.

As one can in the above video, one of the Sadhus is running to save his life and trying to latch on to the policeman as the cop he releases himself and walks away, leaving the Sadhu to the mob.

Another haunting video is when the police are escorting the Sadhus out to a bloodthirsty mob where one of the Sadhus can be seen latching on to the cop, hoping he’d be safe with the man in the uniform. However, the cop can be seen leading him to an open space where mob starts beating him and the cop just shakes his hands off, leaving the old man to die.

Palghar incident details

The blood-curdling incident happened on 16th April, 2020 in Palghar, Maharashtra. Two Sadhus, 70-year-old Kalpavrishka Giri Maharaj and 35-year-old Sushil Giri Maharaj along with their driver 30-year-old Nilesh Telgade associated with the Juna Akhara and were on their way from Mumbai to Gujarat to give Samadhi to another Sadhu. At Gadakchinchale village, a wild and frenzied crowd of over more than 100 people attacked them. The villagers deemed them as thieves and started attacking them. The police claims that their team which had rushed to the spot to rescue the 70-year-old man also came under the attack of the violent mob.

People of the Sadhu community say that this village is tribals dominated and most of them are Christians while some are Muslims. Some even say that the police, out of fear of the tribals, handed over the Sadhus to the mob which later beat up those Sadhus to death with sticks. Reportedly, when the tribals of a particular religion started beating up the Sadhus, the police did not intervene.

Questions raised over Palghar incident

After the videos of brutality went viral on social media, many questioned the role of police as mute spectators in the barbarity that was unleashed on the Sadhus. In one of the videos, one of the policemen can be seen leading Kalpavriksh Giri Maharaj and letting go of his hand after handing him over to the mob.

Akhara Parishad condemns the Palghar incident

Speaking to OpIndia, Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad President Mahant Narendra Giri hinted at a bigger conspiracy over the murder of the Sadhus.

Appealing to Sadhus he said that if any Sadhu takes up Samadhi, then only those Sadhus in the same village should visit so that the coronavirus lockdown guidelines are not violated. “In front of the police, two of our mahatmas were murdered. Are the Muslims in the area targeting Sadhus under the guise of coronavirus? I appeal to Maharashtra government that this should be investigated. Once lockdown is over, Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad will talk to Juna Akhara and hold Maharashtra government accountable for this. The father of Maharashtra Chief Minister has always respected Sadhus and Mahatmas. In your rule if two Sadhus get killed brutally, it is highly condemnable. There are reports that the culprits were Muslims. I appeal that they be arrested and action is taken,” he said.

Juna Akhara letter

In its appeal to the Maharashtra CM, Juna Akhara has condemned the murder of two Sadhus in front of the police.

Palghar arrests

As per reports, the authorities on Sunday filed and FIR against the villagers and 110 people including 9 juveniles have been arrested so far. 101 have been sent to judicial custody till April 30 while the juveniles have been sent to juvenile shelter home.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has called for a high-level inquiry into the matter to ensure justice.

Maharashtra Chief Minister’s office took to Twitter on Sunday night and said that the Palghar incident has been acted upon.

“Nobody guilty in this heinous crime and shameful act will be spared and they will be brought to justice in the strongest way possible,” The CMO tweeted.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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