Govt sacks 3 Palghar cops who didn’t stop mob from killing 2 seers, driver
Palghar lynching: Maharashtra CID had arrested 165 people including 11 minors for killing the two seers and their driver in April this year
Three policemen who were suspended for not taking adequate steps to save three men lynched by a mob in Maharashtra’s Palghar on April 16 have been sacked, a police spokesperson said on Monday. Sachin Navadkar, Palghar police spokesperson, said the three policemen were assistant police inspector Anandrao Kale, assistant sub inspector Ravi Salunkhe and constable Naresh Dhodi. Salunkhe, 57, and Dhodi, 45, have been compulsorily retired while Kale, 43, has been dismissed with immediate effect, said Navadkar.
The killing of the two saffron-robed men and their driver in April this year had sparked off national outrage after video clips showed policemen heading to safety inside the police station and leaving the three men at the mercy of hundreds of people who suspected the three were thieves.
Kalpvrush Giri, 70, Sushil Giri, 35, and driver Nilesh Telgade, 30, were dragged out of their vehicle and thrashed by the mob in Gadhchinchale village, about 110 km from Palghar. The seers belonged to Varanasi-based Juna Akhara and were on their way to attend the last rites of their guru Mahant Shri Ram Giri in Surat.
The three sacked policemen are among the five suspended after the Uddhav Thackeray-led government came under sharp attack from the opposition over the conduct of the police personnel. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had also spoken to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to advise him to order a probe.
The Maharashtra government transferred all personnel posted at Kasa police station soon after and overnight, brought in 47 personnel from other parts of the district. When Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh came a month later on a visit in May, he removed district police chief Gaurav Singh. An IPS officer, Singh was placed on compulsory wait and hasn’t been given a new assignment yet.
The investigation into the lynching of the three victims was handed over to Maharashtra’s Criminal Investigation Department. Home Minister Deshmukh had then released a list of 101 people arrested for the violence, setting off a second round of back-and-forth with the opposition after the Congress claimed that those arrested included local BJP functionaries.
The CID, which initially looked at the role of 824 people for the violence, had arrested 165 tribals including 11 minors for the three deaths. Of them, 10 men and 9 minors have been released on bail since the CID did not charge them within the stipulated 90 days.
Two charge sheets running into 11,000 pages have been filed by the police in early July. On 6 August, the CID filed their third charge-sheet against 47 people arrested for attacking a police team that had gone to investigate the crime on 13 May. This time, the police had opened fire at the protesters to force them to retreat.