Palghar lynching: Names of 101 accused put up on Twitter, no Muslims found

Updated: Apr 23, 2020, 08:06 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Speaking to mid-day, Deshmukh said, "I have verified from the police that not a single family in the entire village is Muslim."

Tweets by filmmaker Ashoke Pandit (top) and Mohit Bharatiya, BJP Mumbai's general secretary, claiming the name of an accused is Shoaib
Tweets by filmmaker Ashoke Pandit (top) and Mohit Bharatiya, BJP Mumbai's general secretary, claiming the name of an accused is Shoaib

A week after a mob lynched two Hindu priests and their driver in the Gadchinchale village of Palghar district, the Maharashtra government released the names of all 101 adults accused on Twitter to put a stop on fake news about communal violence.

On his official twitter handle, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted a list of all arrested accused and said, "The list of the 101 arrested in the #Palghar incident. Especially sharing for those who were trying to make this a communal issue."

"Palghar mob lynching is a grotesque incident which happened due to rumours on social media about child kidnappers and thieves prowling in the area. A high level inquiry is going on & meanwhile people are requested not to fall for rumours & verify the facts from trusted sources," Deshmukh said in another tweet.

Speaking to mid-day, Deshmukh said, "I have verified from the police that not a single family in the entire village is Muslim."

The priests, Chikne Maharaj, 70 and Sushil Giri, 35, and their driver, Nilesh Tilghate, 30, were on their way to Surat from Kandivli in their car. Because of the sealed borders amid the lockdown, the driver chose a side road to avoid police check posts and ended up in the Gadchinchale village, a stronghold of tribal communities, Kokana and Varli.

The Palghar police, in massive raids in nearby villages and forest area, arrested 110 people. The five prime accused are Jayram Bhavar, 25, Mahesh Rawate, 19, Ganesh Rao, 31, Ramdas Akare, 27, and Sunil Rawate, 25, said a source from Kasa police. "Bhavar and Rao belong to Divshi village, Mahesh resides in Kinnauli village, Akare and Sunil reside in Gadchinchale," said the source.

mid-day was the first to report on the actual number of arrested accused in its April 18 edition. Nine of the accused are juveniles. The 101 adults have been remanded in police custody till April 30.

No Muslims in this area
Social media has been afire with people claiming that the priests were killed by religious extremists in Palghar.

Chitra Choudhary, sarpanch of Gadchinchale, said, "There is no Muslim in this village and nearby areas. Tribals from Gadchinchale and five to six villages nearby had gathered. There was no presence of Muslim or any other religious extremist. Cops can check the footage of the forest department's CCTV camera installed at the chowkie."

"The mob was not intolerant to a religion. These three men were killed because they were thought to be child-lifters," said Choudhary, a BJP member.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit had claimed in a tweet that one of the accused is named 'Shoeb'. The tweet was reported to Deshmukh by producer Anurag Kashyap.

Assistant Police Inspector (API) Siddhawa Jaybhaye, who has been made the in-charge of Kasa police station, said, "You would have seen mosques in this area had there been Muslims. Also, at the time of the attack, the tribals were speaking their own dialects. They hardly speak fluent Marathi or Hindi."

Director General of Police (DGP) Subodh Jaiswal said, "An enquiry has been ordered and the investigations are underway."

Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and a complete guide from food to things to do and events across Mumbai. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates.

Mid-Day is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@middayinfomedialtd) and stay updated with the latest news

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK