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Palghar Lynchings Case: 208 New Accused, 50 Nabbed By CID

Mumbai: In a major development, the state CID on Wednesday named 208 new accused and arrested 50 of them in connection with the sensational April 16 mob-lynching of two sadhus and their driver, officials said here.

“This has taken the total number of accused in the case to so far to 366 including 11 juveniles, while the 50 others arrested today shall be produced before the Dahanu Court on Thursday,a their lawyer Amrut Adhikari told IANS.

Simultaneously, the bail pleas of 62 accused shall be heard on Thursday by Special Sessions Judge P. P. Jadhav at Thane Sessions Court, Adhikari added.

Incidentally, of the 366 accused so far, 28 adults and 9 juveniles were released on a default bail as the CID chargesheet did not specify their exact involvement in the crime owing to lack of evidence, said an official.

Late night of April 16, two seers of the Juna Akhada – Kalpavrikshagiri Maharaj, 70, his assistant Sushilgiri Maharaj, 35, and their driver Nilesh Telgade, 30 – were waylaid near the Gandhchinchale village by a 1,000-strong mob of villagers, at the height of the lockdown.

Mistaking them to be kidnappers, the villagers pounced on them and brutally assaulted them with sticks, rods and stones, resulting in their death, even as a small posse of policemen looked on.

The next morning, it resulted in a huge outcry and kicked off a nationwide political furore while the state government initiated fire-fighting measures.

The (then) Palghar Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh was shunted on compulsory leave and replaced by Dattatray Shinde.

In another unprecedented penal action against so many police officials for a single incident, the former Kasa Police Station head Anandrao Kale was dismissed and two others slapped with compulsory retirement orders.

Following a full-fledged departmental probe, 15 more policemen were penalised with a freeze on promotions and salaries, increments for specified varying periods for their conduct during the incident.

(IANS)

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