The Supreme Court has sought a report from Maharashtra Police regarding the status of the investigation in the Palghar lynching case in which two Hindu sadhus and their driver were lynched by a mob on the night of April 16. The court was hearing a plea seeking a CBI probe into the case monitored by an SC monitored SIT or a judicial commission.
According to the reports, the apex court refused to stay the current investigation in the case by state CID and asked the petitioner to serve a copy of the plea to standing counsel for Maharashtra. The Supreme court ordered the Maharashtra government to file a report pertaining to investigation within four weeks.
How did such a mass gathering happen during lockdown: Supreme Court
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjiv Khanna hearing the petition through video-conferencing said that it wanted to know the status of actions that have been taken so far by the police against the perpetrators of the crime. The court also asked how did the authorities allow such a mass gathering of people to violate the lockdown.
The plea said, “This happened despite the fact that the whole country is under Lockdown since March 25 and that no person is allowed to be out of their house and everyone has been asked to follow social distancing which raises a huge suspicion on part of local police.”
The plea, filed by petitioner Shashank Shekhar Jha through his counsel Rashi Bansal, has sought a direction to the authorities to constitute an apex court-monitored SIT or a judicial commission headed by a retired top court judge to deal with the case. The plea also sought CBI investigation into the matter.
Plea demands FIR against police for failure to prevent mob lynching
The plea also demanded filing of FIR against concerned police officials for their failure to prevent the incident. The plea stated that the incident was a failure on the part of the police as a mob had gathered there in violation of the lockdown rules. The petitioner referred to the media reports and claimed that police was complicit in the incident as they did not use force to prevent it.
The plea alleged that the whole incident was “pre-planned and there could be police involvement as well” and urged the court to transfer the case from Palghar to a fast track court in Delhi.
Palghar 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.
Later, it was also revealed that the killing of the Sadhus was intentional and it was done due to political reasons and it was also suspected that Christian missionaries backed by NCP, left parties were behind the lynching of two Hindu Sadhus.