Netizens paid tribute on the death anniversary of two Hindu sadhus who were lynched to death by a mob in the Palghar district of Maharashtra. On April 16, 2020, sadhus Mahant Kalpavruksha Giri (70) and Sushilgiri Maharaj (35), and their driver Nilesh Telgade (30), who were travelling to Surat from Mumbai were killed by a mob in Palghar.
The sadhus and their driver were initially rescued by the police team. However, later policemen abandoned an elderly sadhu and fled. In a viral video, around 400 people were seen lynching the sadhus to death.
The State CID has filed seven chargesheets in three FIRs registered into the matter. In all, 251 adults were arrested and 15 juveniles held in the case. SP (CID) Maruti Jagtap said, “We have filed chargesheets in the investigation that we have conducted so far. We are now on the lookout for 52 wanted accused. Once they are arrested, a chargesheet will be filed against them.”
The NGO Vivek Vichar Manch had made the fact-finding report on this incident. Retired Justice Ambadas Joshi, one of the authors of the report, had said, “If it was spontaneous, then how did 400-odd people assemble at the spot, what was the logistical support? The police also practically handed over the sadhus to the mob instead of stopping them.”
“In the background of the hostile attitude of Left-wing organizations, there exists a strong possibility that some of the innocent tribals have been arrested, and at the same time, real culprits aligned to Left-wing or other political parties are not yet touched,” the report had stated.
The NGO has also accused Christian missionary organization’s role to influence and spread separatist thoughts within local people.
Another author of the report, Advocate Pravartak Pathak, had said, “Some Christian missionary organizations are funding the organizations, which are working on Adivasis’ rights.”
After the incident, people across the country protested against Thackeray Government and then Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. A year after, netizens have criticized the State Government, accusing lack of investigation efforts and delay in justice to sadhus. Following are some tweets -