Twelve days after Palgarh mob-lynching incident in which two Sadhus and their driver was killed, the Maharashtra government late on Tuesday, April 28 transferred 35 policemen. Earlier, the government had suspended two policemen in connection with the incident and handed over the investigation to the state CID.
All these policemen were serving the Kasa Police Station in Palghar district where the brutal incident occurred late on April 16. The police have so far arrested around 110 people from the surrounding villages, including many with political affiliations.
The Palghar mob lynching incident
On the unfortunate night of April 16, hardly 125 kilometres from Mumbai, Gadchinchle, a small village in Maharashtra's Palghar district, was all over the news for a horrific case of mob killing. The two Sadhus and their driver, proceeding from Nashik to Surat, were lynched by a 200-strong mob outside the Gadchinchle village on April 16 in a police vehicle amid rumours that they were robbers or kidnappers.
The mob also attacked the policemen and damaged two police vans, including one in which the Sadhus were shifted by the police. The victims were identified next morning as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavriksha Giri, 70, Sushilgiri Maharaj, 30, from the Shree Panch Dashnam Juna-Akhada order, and their driver Nilesh Telwade, 30.
There were some shocking visuals that were shared over the social media showing angry residents of Gadchinchale village, who were armed with sticks and stones, were completely out of control and attacking a police team.
The police team that had reached the spot, were trying to restore order and rescuing the 70-year-old man and the two others. Two of those killed are sadhus; the third was the driver of the car they were travelling in. They were going to attend a funeral, according to some reports.
One of the videos showed a man shouting "Oye, isko maro" and the 70-year-old victim was surrounded by an armed mob and in seconds started bleeding profusely from his head, begging for his life. The cops were trying to control the situation.
The police had reached the spot and had put the victims in their van but the mob attacked the police van too and injured the policemen too. The incident created a furore among people with posts being circulated with hashtag #justice for sadhus.
The incident has attracted a lot of criticism on the political front. On April 19, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis condemned the mob attack. He said, "Seeing the visuals that have come out, Palghar incident of mob lynching is shocking & inhuman. It is more disturbing especially when we are going through such tough times otherwise too."