2 sadhus, driver lynched in Palghar: Who is behind the crime?

In a shocking incident, three people, including 2 sadhus, were savagely lynched to death on suspicion of theft in Gadchinchale village of Palghar in Mumbai. According to the police, the locals armed with planks and iron rods attacked the three persons on Thursday night based on the rumours that they were child lifters.

From the video, it is clear that the policeman had handed over the 70-year-old sadhu, profusely bleeding on head, to the mob who brutally killed him. Reports suggest that there were more than 100 people in the mob.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a tweet, stated: “Nobody guilty in this heinous crime and shameful act will be spared and they will be brought to justice in the strongest way possible.”

District Collector Kailas Shinde said, “They were brought dead in the hospital. About 110 villagers have been brought to police stations for questioning. Further investigation is underway.”

The police said a frenzied mob of over more than 100 people attacked the three people when they were on their journey towards Nashik from Mumbai to attend a funeral. The villagers deemed them as thieves and started attacking them. The police team which had rushed to the spot to rescue the 70-year-old man also came under the attack of the violent mob. The three men were travelling to Nashik in a car. The manic crowd stopped their car and violently dragged the trio out of their car before subjecting them to their relentless onslaught. Amongst the three lynched by the mob, 2 of them were Hindu sadhus while the third one was the driver of the rental car they were travelling in.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called for an investigation into the lynching incident. He said the incident shows the state of law and order in the state. The Akhada Parishad had condemned the incident and demanded the state government to act immediately and arrest the culprits. According to the Parishad, members of a particular community is behind the killing of the sadhus and their driver.

Some observers suspect the official police version. It seems that the mob was waiting for the sadhus’ vehicle. How come they targeted the particular vehicle only? “Palghar was a hub of proselytization and conversion activities have been in full swing even when the BJP was in power in the state. Despite several complaints, the state government did not pay any heed. The proselytising groups have been instilling an anti-Hindu feeling among tribals in these areas,” said a journalist who doesn’t want to be quoted.