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A fact-finding team has blamed left-wing organizations and Christian missionary groups for the violence that led to Sadhus’s lynching in Palghar district, Maharashtra. Vivek Vichar Manch formed the fact-finding team that comprised of retired judges, lawyers, and police officers.
The 149-page report made some explosive revelations, including how some groups are spreading hate and inciting the tribal population against the union government. The report said, “The brutal and inhuman mob lynching of Sanyasis is the outcome of a violent approach which has been influencing the tribal community.” It also explained how many misconceptions and ill practices had engulfed the region.
The team has demanded that the central investigation agencies like NIA or CBI should handle the Palghar mob lynching case. They said that the whole truth could come out if such agencies manage the investigation. The police personnel present at the site could have stopped the mob from killing the Sadhus, the report stated. However, the police remained silent and let the brutal murders happen in front of their eyes.
One of the authors of the report, retired Justice Ambadas Joshi, said, “If it were spontaneous, then how did 400-odd people assemble at the spot, what was the logistical support? The police also practically handed over the sadhus to the mob instead of stopping them.” Advocate Pravartak Pathak, another author of the report, said that some Christian missionary organizations fund the organizations that are working on Adivasis’ rights.
Recommendations of the Fact-Finding team
The Fact-Finding Team, formed by Vichar Vivek Manch, examined all aspects of the case. They have given the following recommendations in the Palghar mob lynching case:
- There is a possibility that this lynching may have connections with the Naxalite movement as there have been incidents of replicating independent Adivasi area as done in Patthalgarhi, Jharkhand. Thus, the investigation should be handled by NIA.
- There are organizations in the area that are spreading communal hatred and anti-democratic agenda. They provoke people to use violence. It must be investigated by a central investigation agency such as CBI or NIA.
- The investigation agencies must identify and list the real eyewitnesses. They should get protection and security, considering the history of violence in the area.
- The report suggested that the investigation should not be misdirected due to the Chief Minister and Home Minister of the state’s statements. There is a need for more in-depth investigation and probe into organizations’ roles, including Adivasi Ekta Parishad and Kashtakari Sanghatana. It said that the videos and other information team came across have been listed in the report, and it should be taken into consideration by the investigation agency.
- It said that the innocent tribals should not be implicated falsely due to political nexus. They are not among the followers of groups like Adivasi Ekta Parishad and Kashtakari Sanghatana.
Palghar Sadhu lynching
On 16th April 2020, two Sadhus of Juna Akhara, Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), and Sushilgiri Maharaj (35) were lynched along with their 30-year old driver by a mob. The incident took place at Gadchinchale village in Palghar district, Maharashtra. They were on their way to Surat, Gujarat. The police were present at the scene, but the allegedly did not try to stop the mob or did anything to save the sadhus.