Palghar mob lynching: Relatives of those arrested threaten to kill BJP sarpanch

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Palghar mob lynching
Image: Indian express

Days after the horrific incident of mob lynching that claimed the lives of 3 men, including 2 sadhus, in Gadchinchle village of Palghar district, relatives of those arrested in the case have reportedly threatened BJP sarpanch Chitra Choudhary of dire consequences for colluding with the police. The relatives suspect that it was the sarpanch of the village who released the details of the murderers to the police.

The police have arrested 110 people in connection with the ghastly lynching of the three men who were on their way to Gujarat from Mumbai when they were stopped in Palghar district and brutally hacked to death by a mob of 400-500 people based on the rumours that they were involved in the abduction of children to harvest organs, including kidneys. As per the Lokmat report, the relatives of those arrested have threatened the BJP sarpanch of killing her, her two children as well as her husband for the leaking the identities of the murders of the three men to the police.

Palghar Sadhus lynched

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 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.

Horrifying visuals of 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, had gone viral on the social media.

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.

Investigation in incident

In the FIR, the assistant police inspector Anand Rao Kale, who led the initial response team of the police at the spot claimed that the police were heavily outnumbered as there were about 400 to 500 frenzied people who were baying for the blood of the three individuals. The report mentions that the police team which had reached the location to rescue the victims were also attacked by the mob. When they tried to rescue the victims by putting them in the police vehicle, the mob vandalised the police vehicle and kept attacking the three men with stones. Kale identified five men from the mob of 400-500 and included them in the FIR. They are- Jairam Bhavar (25), Mahesh Sitaram Ravte (19), Ganesh Devji Rao (31), Ramdas Rupji Asare (27) and Sunil Somji Ravte (25).

Offences under IPC sections 302 (murder), 120(B), 427, 147, 148 and 149 have been registered against the five accused along with the mob of 400-500 people. IPC Section 188 has also been invoked in the case due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown under which sweeping curbs have been imposed on movement and assembly of people, the report said.