The Bombay High Court on Thursday issued notice to the State of Maharashtra, the Director General of Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation while admitting a PIL filed by an Advocate of Supreme Court seeking a CBI or SIT investigation into the Palghar mob lynching incident wherein two sadhus and their driver were brutally beaten to death.
Justice Ujjal Bhuyan directed all the respondents to file their reply within two weeks. Court has kept May 22 as the next date of hearing.
On April 16, Ramgiri Maharaj, a Hindu spiritual guru passed away in Surat, Gujarat. To attend his last rites, two Sadhus, namely Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) and Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri (70) along with their driver Nilesh Telgane (35) started travelling from Kandivali in Mumbai to Surat, Gujarat on April 16 itself.
They were reportedly stopped from taking the National Highway due to the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown and hence they took a detour. While their vehicle reached near village Gadchinchle in Palghar district of Maharashtra, they were reportedly taken into custody by the Palghar Police and kept in the police van.
However, at that time, a large mob reportedly stopped their vehicle and dragged the sadhus out. Thereafter, the unruly mob, armed with sticks and rods, brutally attacked the two Sadhus and their driver and killed all three of them in an extremely barbaric manner, the petition states.
Petitioner Alakh Alok Shrivastav contended that there are serious allegations against the police personnel themselves as to why they allowed such a large gathering of people despite the ongoing lockdown and why they did not try to protect the aforesaid deceased persons from this unruly mob.
Moreover, the petition also refers to the video clips of the incident circulated on social and electronic media-
"Various video clips of the said incident later on surfaced in social as well as electronic media showing that the police didn't even try to help the above named deceased persons. When sticks and rods were rained on the elderly sadhu Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri, he clung to a uniformed cop for help. But the officer shrugged him allowing the mob to do what it was doing. In one video, Maharaj Kalpavrikshgiri begged the mob to spare him but his cries didn't move them."
110 people including juveniles have been arrested in relation to the said incident and as per reports, a total of 35 police personnel attached to the Kasa police station have been suspended.
Petitioner has also sought Rs. 1 crore in compensation for the driver who was also lynched along with the sadhus.