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Sunday, May 28, 2023

14 accused in Palghar mob lynching of Hindu sadhus granted bail by Thane court

14 accused involved in the Palghar mob lynching case, where 2 sadhus and their Hindu driver were brutally murdered in the presence of the police, have been granted bail by the Thane district court on Tuesday. However,18 others involved in the crime have not been given bail.

The judgment was pronounced by Additional sessions court (special designated court) judge RS Gupta who has posted the next hearing in the case for 30 July when charges are expected to be filed. Satish Manshinde is the special public prosecutor representing the prosecution while advocate PN Ojha is appearing on behalf of the sadhus. 

A total of 201 persons have been arrested in relation to the case and 75 have been named as the prime accused. In January this year 89 accused were granted bail by the Thane special court. District judge SB Bahalkar had released them on a bail of Rs 15,000 each and surety on 6 January.

“The Kasa police had filed a case of murder and other sections against a mob of over 500 unidentified people from the tribal villages in Kasa. Most of those arrested were from the Gadchinchale village in Kasa, where the lynching had taken place. Of the 246 accused, 115 are already out on bail. There are 16 minors who were arrested in the case, of which nine are out on bail”, Times of India had said in its January report.

On April 16, 2020, a mob lynched Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35), and their driver Nilesh Telgade (30) at Gadchinchale in Palghar district. The mob had brutally assaulted the three who were on their way to Gujarat with sticks and axes in the presence of Maharashtra police who stood by as mute spectators instead of saving the three.

In fact, some of the policemen were even seen pushing the hapless victims towards the mob. A fact-finding team found that the Church-Naxal were involved in the Palghar crime. Palghar is a predominantly vanvasi (tribal) belt where evangelical Christian missionaries have been actively involved in conversion activities that even divides families.

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