101 arrests, no Muslim: Maha minister on Palghar case

Mumbai: Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday said none of the 101 people arrested in connection with the Palghar lynching case is a Muslim, and accused the opposition of giving a communal colour over the incident.

“None of the accused arrested in connection with the incident is a Muslim. It is unfortunate that communal politics is being played following the incident, Deshmukh said in his address via Facebook.

Without naming anyone, he said, “Some people are seeing ‘Mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ (pipedream)…it is not the time to play politics, but fight coronavirus collectively.”

The incident took place on the night of April 16 when three men – two seers and their driver – were going from Mumbai in a car towards Surat in Gujarat to attend a funeral.

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Their vehicle was stopped near a village in Palghar district where the three were dragged out of the car and beaten to death with sticks by a mob on suspicion that they were child-lifters.

The deceased were identified as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35), and driver Nilesh Telgade (30).

The Maharashtra government earlier ordered a high- level probe into the incident, and two policemen from Palghar were suspended on Monday for alleged dereliction of duty.

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