Maharashtra: 4 Sadhus from UP brutally thrashed by mob on suspicion of being child-lifters

Sangli | In a shocker, a group of at least four Sadhus was thrashed by a mob on suspicion that they could be child-lifters, officials said, even as police got into action and detained six persons.

The incident occurred on Tuesday in Lavanga village in the Jat tehsil of the district in western Maharashtra and revived memories of the lynching of three Sadhus in Palghar district.

Though no formal police complaint has been filed yet, the incident sparked a fresh political row between the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

According to locals, the four Sadhus, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, had entered Maharashtra by a car from Karnataka’s Bijapur and were proceeding to the pilgrimage centre of Pandharpur.

On Tuesday, they were reportedly asking a boy for directions when some locals intervened, and suspecting them to be kidnappers, hammered them.

Videos of the incident — showing some persons assaulting them with blows, sticks and belts — went viral on social media platforms triggering protests and allegations between the ruling and opposition combines.

Slamming the Shinde-Fadnavis government, state Congress President Nana Patole said this is part of the BJP’s “dirty politics” that Hindu Sadhus are being thrashed in such a manner.

“The BJP is virtually ruling the state, the Deputy CM and Home Minister (Fadnavis) are from the BJP… Now what face they have left to show,” said Patole.

Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that a similar incident had occurred in Palghar in April 2020 in the Palghar village ruled by the BJP and several local BJP office-bearers were also involved.

“The BJP used that incident to label the MVA government as ‘anti-Hindu’… A similar situation has arisen in Sangli now. Whose government is in power? Will they hand over the probe to the CBI?” Sawant demanded.

Ruling BJP Spokesperson Ram Kadam termed the incident as “appalling and barbaric” and would not be tolerated in the state, while assuring a full probe into the matter.

Sangli Police Superintendent Dixit Gedam told the mediapersons that the police have launched suo moto investigations and detained at least six persons, and appealed to the people not to fall prey to such rumours.


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