Palghar lynchings: 32 accused sent to judicial custody

Palghar Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh was shunted on compulsory leave and replaced by Dattatray Shinde.
Palghar Lynching
Palghar Lynching

Palghar (Maharashtra), Oct 22 : A court in Maharastra’s Dahanu on Thursday sent 32 accused in the Palghar triple lynching case to 15 days judicial custody, a lawyer said.

Another 18 accused will be produced before Dahanu’s Judicial Magistrate M.V. Jawale on Friday.

These 50 accused were nabbed on Wednesday by the state CID which has added another 208 persons as accused in the sensational lynching case of two sadhus and their driver on April 16, said their lawyer Amrut Adhikari.

Simultaneously, Thane Court Special Sessions Judge P.P. Jadhav postponed the bail pleas of 62 other accused till November 3, said Special Public Prosecutor Satish Maneshinde.

Appearing before the court, Maneshinde sought the presence of the three Investigating Officers in the three cases/FIRs before the court, after which the court posted the next hearing for November 3.

After the CID named 208 fresh accused and arrested 50 of them, the total accused in the case has shot upto 366, including 11 juveniles.

Of the total accused, 28 adults and 9 juveniles were released on default bail as the CID chargesheet did not specify their exact involvement in the crime owing to lack of evidence, said an official.

Late on 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 Gadhchinchale village by a 1,000-strong mob of villagers, at the height of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Mistaking them to be kidnappers, the angry villagers pounced on them, brutally assaulted them with sticks, rods and stones, resulting in their death later, even as a small posse of policemen looked on, waiting for reinforcements from the district headquarters.

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

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, then 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, and increments for specified varying periods for their conduct during the incident.

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