2020 Palghar mob lynching
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On 16 April 2020, a vigilante group lynched two Hindu Sadhus and their driver in Gadchinchale, Palghar District, Maharashtra, India. The incident was fuelled by WhatsApp rumours of thieves operating in the area during the countrywide coronavirus lockdown. The vigilante group of villagers had mistaken the three passengers as thieves and killed them. Policemen who intervened were also attacked; four policemen and a senior police officer were injured.
As of 4 May, 115 villagers have been arrested by the Maharashtra police on charges of murder and an investigation is ongoing. After the incident, rumours were spread to stoke religious tension. On 22 April, Maharashtra Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh posted a complete list of people arrested, stating that none of the arrested were Muslims. The government said that both the attackers and the victims were both of same religion.
- "Palghar mob lynching is a grotesque incident which happened due to rumours on social media about child kidnappers & 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."
- "We are releasing the names of accused today, there's no Muslim in the list. There was a sound heard in the video 'Oye Bas', people circulated it online and some called it 'Shoeb Bas'. The state is fighting the pandemic and some people are trying to bring communal angle in this matter."
- "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"
- If this had happened in a state run by BJP, and, instead of Hindus, and let me be very direct about it, they were from any minority community, would Nasseeruddin Shah, Aparna Sen, Ramchandra Guha, Siddharth Varadarajan, and the award vapsi gang, would they have gone berserk today?
- Arnab Goswami, The Week, April 21, 2020 WATCH: On live TV, Arnab Goswami resigns from Editors' Guild of India, citing 'hypocrisy'
- In India, being a Hindu and wearing the orange colour has become a sin. I ask that if a maulvi had been killed, would people be silent? Would Sonia Gandhi, who hails from Italy, be quiet? Today, she is silent...
- Arnab Goswami, quoted in 'Attacked by Cong Workers': Arnab Alleges After Comments on Sonia
- The list of booth office-bearers in Gadchinchale village was announced on the official Facebook profile of BJP Dahanu Mandal. The first two office-bearers, Ishwar Nikole and Bhau Sathe, are the 61st and 65th accused in the list of criminals accused of leading and participating in Palghar mob lynching,”
- Maharashtra Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant on 24 April
- After the Palghar incident, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray but the BJP has not done anything to pass a law against mob lynching in the last two years despite a number of incidents in different States. In one of the lynching cases, the accused in some of the cases were later felicitated by the BJP ministers.
- Sachin Sawant on 24 April
- “In July 2018, the Supreme Court condemned mob lynching and directed the Central government to enact legislation against this heinous act. In addition, 11 guidelines were issued but the Centre did not take any action on them. Then again in July 2019, a Bench headed by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the mob lynching case and sent a notice to the Union government asking what were the measures taken on the previous directives, but the Modi government did nothing.
- Sachin Sawant on 24 April