The Maharashtra CID, which is probing the Palghar mob lynching case, has filed a charge sheet against two minor accused in a court at Bhiwandi in Thane district. The charge sheet was filed on Friday at the juvenile court, an official said on Saturday.
Last month, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had filed two chargesheets, one running into 4,955 pages and another of 5,921 pages, in a court in Dahanu taluka in Palghar district.
In all, 154 people have been arrested and 11 juveniles detained in connection with the incident, police have said. “The charge sheet against two minor accused was filed at the Bhiwandi juvenile court on Friday,” a top official of the state CID said.
However, nine other juvenile accused have not been named in that charge sheet, another official said. Two monks 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 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. In all, three FIRs related to murder, armed rioting and other charges were registered in connection with the incident.