New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) With gory visuals of three men being lynched in Maharashtra’s Palghar district over suspicion of being thieves going viral, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has jumped into the fray.
Two ‘sadhus’ or monks and their driver, proceeding from Nashik to Surat, were cornered and lynched by a 200-strong mob outside Gadchinchle village in Palghar district on April 16 in the presence of police personnel amid rumours that they were robbers or child kidnappers.
VHP Secretary General Milind Parande on Monday called it an “ambush” against “two venerated saints” and alleged that the incident was part of a “deeper conspiracy”.
“Many times in the past, there have been incidents of brutal violence inspired by Leftists in this area. The killers and their accomplices should be punished at the earliest after a high-level investigation into their involvement in this brutal incident,” Parande said.
Parande claimed that “activities of Leftists have been going on in Palghar these days on a high pitch”.
“Mob lynchings are part of the Left’s own action plan. The country has not forgotten the heinous murder of Swami Lakshmanananda,” he added.
Swami Lakshmanananda was assassinated in August 2008 along with his disciples in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.
On the night of April 16, an aggressive mob of around 200 villagers flouting all lockdown norms had accosted a vehicle in which the two sadhus were travelling from Nashik to Surat with some relief materials late.
Suspecting them to be thieves, the crowd started questioning them before brutally assaulting then with sticks, rods and stones. When the police team reached the spot and took them to their van, the crowd swooped on the police van and continued to assault them.
The victims were later identified as Sushilgiri Maharaj, 30, Chikne Maharaj Kalpavriksha Giri, 70, and their driver Nilesh Telwade, 30. As many as 110 people have been rounded up in connection with the case.
Parande, meanwhile, claimed that the prime suspect of the case was still at large.
The VHP demanded that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should order a high-level investigation into the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.