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The CPI(M) Maharashtra State Committee strongly condemns the shocking incident of mob lynching that took place on April 16 night in the remote village of Gadachinchle in Dahanu tehsil of Palghar district. Three persons were killed, and two of them were sadhus who were proceeding from Mumbai to Surat. It demands stringent action against those proved guilty and a thorough inquiry into the incident.

We welcome Chief Minister Shri Uddhav Thackeray’s address to the people of Maharashtra today, in which he emphasised the following points:

1. The incident was not like the series of communal mob lynchings that have taken place in large parts of the country in the last six years, but was a result of misunderstanding. There were rumours for the last few days in the rural areas of Palghar district of robbers roaming at night, and this was the cause of the attack.

2. There was no communal angle at all to this incident and no one should try to give it a communal colour.

3. Over 100 people, including the five ring-leaders, have already been arrested and strict action would be taken against those proved guilty.

4. Two police persons have been summarily suspended.

5. A serious inquiry would be conducted.

This inquiry should also find out if there was an official permit for the car taking the victims to Gujarat; why instead of taking the direct National Highway route from Mumbai to Surat, the car went through remote areas on the border of Maharashtra and the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagarhaveli; and why it was allowed to proceed to that remote and deserted area late in the night and by whom.

The CPI(M) denounces the absolutely false communal colour that the RSS-BJP are working overtime to give to this incident. The community that attacked does not have any history of communal enmity. The RSS-BJP leaders also know this very well, and yet they are indulging in this false campaign to discredit the state government.

We also strongly denounce the downright lies and canards that are being spread on Facebook by RSS-BJP leaders Sambit Patra, Sunil Deodhar and others. They have said that the Dahanu assembly constituency in which this incident took place is a CPI(M) stronghold, it now has a CPI(M) MLA, and they have then shamelessly alleged that the CPI(M) is behind these killings.

The truth is exactly the opposite. Gadachinchle village, where these killings took place, has been won by the BJP for the last 10 years, and Chitra Choudhari is today the BJP’s Sarpanch there. The BJP’s ex-MLA Pascal Dhanare (whom the CPI(M)’s current MLA Comrade Vinod Nikole soundly defeated in the Dahanu (ST) seat in the 2019 Vidhan Sabha elections with the help of the NCP, BVA, Congress and Kashtakari Sanghatana) has himself put up a post on December 12, 2016, where Dhanare is seen felicitating the above BJP Sarpanch Chitra Choudhari and other Gram Panchayat members of the BJP. Many of those arrested for the killing of the sadhus are in fact BJP men.

While those who are guilty deserve strict punishment, the CPI(M) is also of the clear opinion that the police, in order to cover up their negligence, are going into overdrive and are arbitrarily arresting many innocent people even from villages that are many kilometres away. We demand that this wanton repression be stopped forthwith.

CPI(M) Maharashtra State Committee

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