Palghar lynching case: CID names 218 new accused, arrests 50; BJP leader Ram Kadam demands CBI probe

Mumbai: In a major development, Maharashtra’s CID has named 218 new accused and arrested 50 of them in connection with the sensational mob-lynching of two sadhus and their driver on April 16 this year

Besides, the CID has also arrested 24 more accused in connection with the Palghar mob lynching incident. With this, the total number of accused arrested in the case so far has risen to 376. They all will be produced before the Dahanu Court on Thursday.

Simultaneously, the bail pleas of 70 accused shall be heard on Thursday by Special Sessions Judge PP Jadhav at Thane Sessions Court.

Incidentally, of the 376 accused so far, 28 adults and 9 juveniles were released on a default bail as the CID chargesheet did not specify their exact involvement in the crime owing to lack of evidence.

On the night of April 16, two seers of the Juna Akhada – Kalpavrikshagiri Maharaj, 70, his assistant Sushilgiri Maharaj, 35, and their driver Nilesh Telgade, 30 – were waylaid near the Gandhchinchale village by a 1,000-strong mob of villagers, at the height of the lockdown.

Mistaking them to be kidnappers, the villagers pounced on them and brutally assaulted them with sticks, rods and stones, resulting in their death, even as a small posse of policemen looked on.

The next morning, it resulted in a huge outcry and kicked off a nationwide political furore while the state government initiated fire-fighting measures.

The (then) Palghar Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh was shunted on compulsory leave and replaced by Dattatray Shinde. In another unprecedented penal action against so many police officials for a single incident, the former Kasa Police Station head Anandrao Kale was dismissed and two others slapped with compulsory retirement orders.

Following a full-fledged departmental probe, 15 more policemen were penalised with a freeze on promotions and salaries, increments for specified varying periods for their conduct during the incident.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Ram Kadam has expressed concerns over the shoddy probe into the Palghar lynching case and requested for a CBI probe.

In a tweet, in which he tagged Maharashtra’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Kadam said, “No satisfactory development in #palgharsadhulynching @OfficeofUT @AnilDeshmukhNCP Request to give the case to #CBI. more than six months have elapsed since the occurrence of the horrific lynching incident against sadhus at Palghar. There has been no significant development.”

The public interest litigations (PILs) filed in the matter are seeking a CBI or a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe in the incident that took place in Palghar district on April 16 this year. 

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