New Delhi: Maharashtra’s home minister Anil Deshmukh released the names of 101 accused in the Palghar district to show that none of them were Muslims. He accused the opposition of giving a communal colour to the lynching of three men.
On April 16 evening, three persons travelling in a car from Kandivili in western Mumbai to Silvassa to attend a funeral were attacked by a mob of 70-80 persons in Palghar.
The victims, 70-year-old Kalpvrush Giri, 35-year-old Sushil Giri and driver Nilesh Telgade, were travelling to attend a funeral and were using smaller lanes passing through a village since many exit points on the main roads had been sealed. The two older men were wearing saffron clothes and belonged to an ashram in Kandivili. The mob attacked and killed the three men, despite the presence of policemen in the vicinity.
Three days later, a video of the incident emerged, which led to BJP leaders highlighting that the men were sadhus and BJP-affiliated social media handles began to assert that the mob was Muslim-dominated. Following the social media campaign, Deshmukh had pointed out that both the victims and the accused were from the same community.
On Wednesday, the state home minister released the names of all the arrested in the Palghar lynching incident on his social media accounts, adding, “especially sharing for those who were trying to make this a communal issue..”
In a live video address on his Facebook account, he stated that none of the accused were Muslims. “It is unfortunate that communal politics is being played following the incident,” he said.
As per a translation of his speech by PTI, Deshmukh said, “Some people are seeing ‘Mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ (a pipe dream)… it is not the time to play politics, but fight coronavirus collectively.”
He also stated that a special inspector general level officer in the CID is investigating the matter.