In a development in the Plaghar lynching case of two Hindu seers and their driver, Mumbai based lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay moved Bombay high court seeking the transfer of investigation from Crime Investigation Department, Maharashtra to the National Investigation Agency.
The Petitioner has mentioned in the petition that “the petitioner- who follows the “vaidik Sanatan dharma” has been pained by the brutal murder of two Hindu saints and their driver.”
Upadhyay has stated the inability of CID in investigations quoting the Bhim Koregaon incident and has expressed scepticism because of the involvement of policemen in the crime in the Palghar lynching case.
The Petition further states “the fact that the matter is extremely serious and sensitive in nature and also for reaching consequences and since powerful persons seem to be involved and in fact appear to be kingpins of the criminal conspiracy, in furtherance of which, the murder of the aforesaid Hindu saints and their driver is committed. It is denumerable that if the investigation remains with the local police or state police then investigation will certainly not be fair and instead the same will be just mere rituals and empty formalities, eyewash and perfunctory one and with the result, justice will be eluded and thwarted and being the case the matter needs to be investigated by the National Investigative agency.”
“In the entire episode, the local police and their higher rank officers seem to be a party of the said deep-rooted criminal conspiracy and with the result, every attempt is made by the culprits and local police to show as if, it was a case of mob lynching under the mistake and belief of those saints being thieves,” the plea said. “Not only the video of mob lynching has been stage-managed in a pre-planned manner, but even a fake narrative is created to the effect that those saints were believed to be thieves by the mob on account of there being several incidents of thefts in the area,” the advocate added in the petition.
The petition also sought directions to the Central government and Palghar SP to submit a report to the NIA with a view to enabling the agency to make a decision about taking over the investigation.
Palghar Lynching case
On 16th April 2020, two Seers associated with the Juna Akhara, 70-year-old Kalpavrishka Giri Maharaj, and 35-year-old Sushil Giri Maharaj along with their driver 30-year-old Nilesh Telgadewere 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 claim 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.
But later videos emerged which completely debunked the claim of police, as it was seen that the sadhus were in the custody of the police, but the police personnel handed them over to the mob. The mob then proceeded them to beat them to death in front of the policemen.
Arrests made in the case
The authorities on Sunday filed an 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 the juvenile shelter home. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh released the name of those who were arrested alleging that the opposition is trying to make it a communal issue.