Palghar lynching case: Maha Home Minister releases list of accused, says none are Muslim

Makes names public in a bid to decommunalise the case where rumour mills painted Muslims as the villain, after two ‘saadhus’ and their driver were killed on suspicion of being thieves.


It is no secret that the Palghar lynching case, where two religious leaders of the majority community who were on their way to Gujarat were allegedly lynched in the tribal dominated region of Palghar near Mumbai, had become deeply communal over the last few days.

On April 16, the two ‘saadhus’ and their driver were on their way to Silvassa to attend a funeral. When they were crossing Palghar district, tribals allegedly surrounded their vehicle in Gadhchinchale and the men were lynched. It is said that the attackers suspected the men of being thieves. When police tried to rescue the men, even they were injured seriously.

The victims, identified as two sadhus of the Juna Akhara, Chike Maharaj Kalpavruksh Giri (70) and Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) were seen wearing saffron dhotis and kurtas in the video of the incident that was being circulated. They were identified as being from an ashram in Kandivali who were travelling to Surat to attend a funeral. The third victim was Nilesh Telgade (30), the driver of the van they were travelling in.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had to step in to diffuse tension by reassuring that a thorough investigation would take place.

Now, after the matter got a strong communal hue because of rumour mills and even a section of the media, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh released on Twitter names of all the 101 accused arrested in the case, pointing out that not even one of them was Muslim.

In a Facebook live video from his official page, Deshmukh also said, “The matter is now being investigated by the CID. The police took 101 people into custody within eight days of this tragic incident. Not even one of them is Muslim. People mis-heard ‘oye-bas’ as ‘Shoaib’ and gave the rumours a communal colour.”

He added, “This is not the time to play politics, but unite together to fight the Coronavirus. Instead, some people are having ‘Mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ and that is unfortunate.” The home minister used a pop-culture reference to an old television show where the protagonist just imagined in his dreams, things that didn’t actually happen. The complete video may be viewed here:

Deshmukh had also urged people in a previous tweet to not fall for rumours, “Palghar mob lynching is a grotesque incident which happened due to rumours on social media about child kidnappers & thieves prowling in the area. A high level inquiry is going on & meanwhile people are requested not to fall for rumours & verify the facts from trusted sources.”


Palghar lynch mob accuses three men of theft, kills them
101 adults arrested, 9 minors detained in Palghar lynching case



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