Palghar lynching: 'Will file for defamation against those slandering us'

Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 07:29 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Palghar pot on the boil as CPI-M slams what it calls baseless links to the lynching of the two priests; right wing labels them brainwashers

Ashok Dhawale cited the peaceful farmers march from Nashik to Mumbai led by CPI-M
Ashok Dhawale cited the peaceful farmers march from Nashik to Mumbai led by CPI-M

The Palghar pot is boiling with the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) saying they are going to file defamation cases against a couple of BJP leaders for defaming CPI-M, by making baseless claims against them for the lynching of the two priests and their driver in Gadchinchale village. Mumbai's Ashok Dhawale, Central Committee member, CPI-M said, "We will file the case shortly. When the CPI-M says something, it always goes ahead and never backwards."

The roots
Dhawale explained that the Communists have had their imprint in the whole of Dahanu and Talasari tehsil. "It has been our base since 1945 when Comrade Godavari Parulekar led the revolt of the tribals against landlordism and bonded labour. This is how deep our roots go into this land. We have the MLA seat in Dahanu, with the dashing Vinod Nikole defeating the BJP sitting MLA in 2019."

Work done
On accusations that it is the Communists and this party that foment violence, leading to mob frenzy and agitation, Dhawale shot back, "We have worked for drinking water and water for irrigation. We drive movements for uplifting the health infrastructure in the region, we have schools, colleges and hostels in Talasari district. We have worked for women's issues, rations..."

Long march
Dhawale added as a Mumbai example, "It was the CPI-M that was at the forefront of the long march of farmers from Nashik to Mumbai in 2018. One of the demands was better implementation of the Forest Rights Act. There was no violence on that march, not a single car window was smashed. It was during this time that a BJP leader spoke about Urban Naxals and that term has stuck."

Bullet train
Another name swirling in the Palghar blame game is that of the Kashtakari Sanghatana. Dhawale said, "The Kashtakari Sanghatana and the CPI-M have had a prickly relationship.

However about three years ago, we came together to galvanise people in the area against the Bullet Train project. We have buried the hatchet so to speak, since."

Parliamentary process
In the end, Dhawale said that the CPI- M was totally against the Maoist violence in fringe pockets, "We have always been part of the Parliamentary process, right from Independence. We have unequivocally condemned the Palghar lynching; for the right wing to link it to us, to defame us, is simply nonsensical."

Go and file
Mumbai's Shriraj Nair, national spokesperson Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), slammed the CPI- M saying, "If any villager is innocent we support him. We are for tracking down the culprits of this crime. For years though, the CPI-M has been brainwashing villagers and conducting anti-Hindu activities. They are also anti-development."

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