The Crime Investigation Department(CID) of Maharashtra police has taken over the investigation in the Palghar lynching incident of two Sadhus and their driver last week.
The Maharashtra government had earlier ordered a high-level probe and suspended two policemen who showed complete dereliction of duty. Yesterday, the National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to DGP Maharashtra mentioning that the Palghar incident was indicative of complete ‘negligence’ by the public servant. NHRC asked for a detailed report within four weeks including the details of action taken against the culprits and relief granted to the kin of the deceased.
Meanwhile, a Public Intrest Litigation has also been filed in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday by lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava over the Palghar lynching incident. The PIL seeks a CBI/SIT inquiry and a time-bound trial in a fast track court.
Plaghar Mob Lynching incident
On 16th April 2020 two Sadhus 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.
Today Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh released the list of 101 adults arrested in connection with the case. He also mentioned that he is specifically releasing it to those who were trying to make it a communal issue, perhaps responding to some allegations that the sadhus were attacked by Muslims.
The home minister sad that they were arrested within eight hours of the incident. He also added that rumors child lifters roaming in the area were doing the rounds, implying that the them locals may have attacked the sadhus assuming them to be child lifters.