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Palghar Lynching Case: Maharashtra CID Files Third Charge Sheet in Local Court

Representative image.

Representative image.

As many as 154 people have been arrested and 11 juveniles detained in connection with the incident, police have said.

The Maharashtra Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is probing the Palghar mob lynching incident, has filed a third charge sheet in the case in a local court, officials said on Saturday.

In a related development, the CID also filed a charge sheet against two minor accused in the case in a juvenile court at Bhiwandi in Thane district on Friday, they said.

Last month, the CID had filed two charge sheets, one running into 4,955 pages and another of 5,921 pages, in a court in Dahanu taluka in Palghar district.

As many as 154 people have been arrested and 11 juveniles detained in connection with the incident, police have said.

In all, three FIRs related to murder, armed rioting and other charges were registered in connection with the incident, in which two seers and their driver were lynched by a mob at Gadchinchale village in Palghar on April 16 when they were travelling in a car to Surat (Gujarat) to attend a funeral amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

"The CID Crime has now filed a charge sheet in the third FIR, which was registered at Kasa Police Station in Palghar. The case relates to a police officer opening fire," an official said on Saturday.

The charge sheet was submitted in a Palghar court, he said.

Another official said, "The state police is preparing a report about the inquiry against the police personnel and action taken against them, as the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Maharashtra government to bring on record those details too."

The apex court had on Thursday asked the state government to apprise it of the inquiry and action taken against the errant police personnel in the lynching case. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy had also asked the state government to also file the charge sheet

before it, saying it would like to examine them.

Meanwhile, a top official of the state CID said that the charge sheet against two minor accused was filed at the Bhiwandi juvenile court on Friday.

"The two minors were found to be actively involved in the attack on two seers and also indulged in other violent acts. Their involvement in the crime was established based on the evidence collected by the police," he said.

According to another official, nine other juvenile accused have not been named in that charge sheet.

The brutal mob attack took place amid rumours that child-lifters were roaming in the area during the lockdown.

The case was later handed over to the CID for probe. The victims were identified by the police as Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri (70), Sushil Giri Maharaj (35) and their driver Nilesh Telgade (30).

The accused in the case were charged with murder, armed rioting and using criminal force to prevent a public servant from doing is duty, among other offences.

Besides sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the accused were charged under relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act (since lockdown was in force during the incident), the Maharashtra Police Act and the Maharashtra Damage to Public Property (Prevention) Act, the release said.

After the incident caused an uproar, the state government suspended Kasa police station in-charge Anandrao Kale, under whose jurisdiction the crime took place, and some other policemen, including sub-inspectors.

Besides, over 35 police constables and personnel of other ranks were transferred in the wake of the mob attack.

The government had also sent the then Palghar district police chief, Gaurav Singh, on forced leave.

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