Palghar lynching: Denying communal angle, Maharashtra home minister says no Muslim among 101 arrested

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Updated: April 22, 2020 2:12 PM

Palghar lynching: The incident has evoked a sharp reaction from the sant samaj of the country who are demanding that CM Uddhav punish the perpetrators.

Official from Kasa Police Station inspect the crime spot in Gadchinchle village. (Express Photo: Deepak Joshi)

While the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra has been issuing warnings against giving a communal colour to the Palghar lynching, its own minister Anil Deshmuk on Tuesday specifically said that no Muslim has been arrested in connection with the crime. Anil, who happens to be the state’s Home minister, said none of the 101 people arrested in connection with the crime is a Muslim and went on to accuse the opposition BJP of communalising it.

“None of the accused arrested in connection with the incident is a Muslim. It is unfortunate that communal politics is being played following the incident,” Deshmukh said in his address via Facebook.

“Some people are seeing ‘Mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ (pipedream)…it is not the time to play politics, but fight coronavirus collectively,” he said without naming anyone.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is leaving no stone unturned to attack the MVA government led by Shiv Sena, the saffron party’s estranged ally. Besides Shiv Sena, the MVA comprises the NCP of Sharad Pawar and Congress. The BJP has been accusing Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his party Shiv Sena of going soft against the accused in this case and demanded stern action against those behind the killing.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who claims to be a staunch supporter of Hindutva has said that there is neither Hindu-Muslim angle nor communalism in the attack and that the Palghar incident has been acted upon.

The incident has evoked a sharp reaction from the sant samaj of the country who are demanding that CM Uddhav punish the perpetrators.

According to the government’s claim, 101 people have been arrested so far in the case. Also, five men who orchestrated the crime have been arrested.

The crime took place at a village in Palghar district on April 16 night when three men including two saints linked to the Juna Akhara were going towards Surat to attend a funeral. Their car was stopped where the three were dragged out of the vehicle and beaten to death with sticks by a mob. The deceased were identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri, Sushilgiri Maharaj, and driver Nilesh Telgade.

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